India Joins the International Trademark System

GENEVA – India’s Minister for Commerce and Industry Anand Sharma deposited his country’s instrument of accession to the Madrid Protocol for the International Registration of Marks at World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO), bringing the total number of members of the international trademark system to 90. The treaty will enter into force with respect to India on July 8, 2013, according to a press release by the Organization. The Madrid System for the International Registration of Marks (Madrid system) offers trademark owners a cost effective, user friendly and streamlined means of protecting and managing their trademark portfolio internationally.

Minister Sharma said “We recognize that this instrument will provide an opportunity for Indian companies, which are increasing their global footprint, to register trademarks in member countries of the Protocol through a single application, while also allowing foreign companies a similar dispensation.”

WIPO Director General Francis Gurry welcomed India’s accession, noting that “India’s accession to the Madrid system is a major milestone in bringing us closer to transforming the Madrid System into a system with truly global reach.” He noted that “India’s participation in the Madrid system gives brand owners around the world the ability to extend their protection to the important Indian market, through a single, simplified and cost-effective procedure.”

India is the 14th of the G-20 economies to accede to the Madrid Protocol. Mr. Gurry said “India’s accession to the international trademark system, as with the recent accessions by Colombia, Mexico, New Zealand and Philippines, signals an era of significant geographical expansion of the Madrid system, which offers greater benefit to right holders worldwide.”

The Madrid system is equally attractive to large businesses as well as small and medium-sized enterprises, which are the largest users of the system. In the midst of current global economic conditions, the Madrid system has shown signs of strength, evidence of its advantages in protecting trademarks internationally. 2012 saw the highest number of international trademark applications ever filed under the Madrid system, with 44,018 applications, or a 4.1 % increase compared to 2011. Furthermore, a record number of 41,954 international registrations were recorded.

Mr. Sharma also took part in a high level policy dialogue at WIPO, where he spoke on the subject “Innovation and Development: The Indian Experience.” Members of the Geneva diplomatic community, including ambassadors, took part in the dialogue.

Source: Abu-Ghazaleh Intellectual Property (AGIP), AGIP Bulletin April 2013
http://www.agip.com

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