During 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)