Accessions to the Madrid Agreement are freezed

Madrid AgreementDuring October, in Geneva was conducted the 50th session of the Madrid Union Assembly.

Within the session a landmark decision to freeze accessions to the Madrid Agreement was made.

Algeria accessed the Madrid Protocol in October 2015. It was the last remaining member to be a Party only to the Madrid Agreement. The country joined the Protocol, effectively making Madrid a one-treaty system.

Following this milestone accession, the Madrid Union Assembly took the historic decision to suspend the application of Articles 14(1) and (2)(a) of the Agreement. This barred any country from acceding to the Agreement only.  From now on, one single set of rules will apply for all members and users of the Madrid System.

This transition towards a single-treaty system has been underway since the adoption of the Protocol in June 1989. With accessions to the Madrid Agreement only now formally suspended, all Contracting Parties and users can benefit from the unique features and flexibility of the Madrid Protocol. This includes a free choice of office of origin (based on domicile, nationality or industrial or commercial establishment). Beneficial is also the transformation of international registrations cancelled due to the ceasing of effect of a basic mark, 10-year renewal periods. What is more, users can file directly with WIPO their requests for subsequent designations and recording of changes.

How the Madrid System Works

One application, in one language, and payment of one set of fees to protect a trade mark in the territories of up to 98 members.

Stage 1 – Application through your National or Regional IP Office (Office of origin)
Stage 2 – Formal examination by WIPO
Stage 3 – Substantive examination by National or Regional IP Offices (Office of the designated Contracting Party)

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    The new EU trade mark Regulation enters into force on March 23rd. As a result, the Office for Harmonization in the Internal Market (OHIM) will change its name to the European Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO).

    The amending Regulation also revises the fees payable to the Office, including an overall reduction in their amounts, particularly in the case of trade mark renewal fees. On 23.3. 2016, the Office’s online application forms and fee calculator will be automatically updated to reflect the new system.
    From its base in Alicante, Spain, OHIM has processed more than 1.3 million Community trade mark applications in 23 EU languages, from nearly every country and region in the world, since 1996.

    The Amending Regulation was published on 24 December 2015 and is part of the EU trade mark reform legislative package that also includes the replacement of the existing EU Trade Mark Directive (Directive 2008/95/EC of the European Parliament and the Council).

    OHIM is the EU’s largest decentralised agency. It is entirely self-financed, receiving no funding from the EU Budget. As well as managing the Community trade mark and the registered Community design (RCD), it works in collaboration with the EU national and regional IP offices to build a stronger IP system across the EU for the benefit of users.

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