How to apply for International Trademark?

A Trademark originating from India is eligible to be protected worldwide through International Trademark Registration. The filing of an application for International Trademark Registration is done through the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) under Madrid Protocol. WIPO is a global forum for intellectual property (IP) assistance by the United Nations to 192 member states.

What do you understand about international trademark filing?

The Madrid Protocol manages the concept of international trademark filing. The Madrid Agreement has been regulating the activities relevant to international trademarks since 1891, and the Madrid Protocol came into existence to introduce single registration for an international trademark, operating since 1996. 
As per the Madrid Protocol, a mark is eligible to be registered in multiple countries by petitioning for international trademark registration to the country's trademark office, where it is being filed.

What is the filing procedure for an international trademark application?

Under the Madrid Protocol, for Indian Businesses, international trademark registration should be filed at the Office of the Registrar of Trademark, as India is the place of origin for the business. The Indian office will take forward the trademark application and register it with the Intellectual Property Organization in Geneva. 

After passing all fitness tests, the trademark application is recorded in the International Register and announced in the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) Gazette of International Marks. 

A certificate is granted by the International Bureau acknowledging the international registration. The Bureau also notifies all countries complying with the Madrid Protocol. The trademark offices of each country possess a right to refuse to protect the trademark. The refusal is expressed by issuing a notice to the International Bureau within the specified period. The Madrid Protocol has set a stringent limitation of 12 or 18 months for raising objections to designated offices.

What are the requirements of the international trademark?

Three main requirements are prescribed to achieve an international trademark registration in India:

  • The applicant should be an Indian or Indian domicile or have a business or commercial establishment actively running in India.

  • The applicant should obtain a national (Indian) trademark application, which acts as a support to the international application. The international application will have the same trademark as registered with the national trademark application or registration. It is important to note that the list of goods and services specified in the national trademark should be presented for international trademark registration.

  • The applicant in the international trademark application must choose one or more other member countries of the Madrid Protocol, where the applicant is required to protect his trademark.

What are the advantages of international trademark registration?

International trademark filing has certain advantages, as it lowers the cost. The international trademark saves the cost of repetitive registration for the same trademark in different countries. Moreover, the renewals and inducing it into effect in more countries later is easier.

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