On April 8th 2013, the Indian Minister for Commerce and Industry, Mr. Anand Sharma, lodged a formal request with the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) General Director, for India to join the Madrid Protocol for the international registration of marks. Thus, it takes the total of member states to 90.
For India, member of the G20, the second most populous country in the world and a great emerging superpower, this accession “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”.
Indian’s membership will take effect as from July 8th 2013 and its designation by international mark will thereafter be possible. It will also be possible to designate India by a subsequent extension of an existing international mark.
In 2012 the Philippines, Colombia and New Zealand had already joined the system of the international mark, followed by Mexico whose accession took effect on February 19th 2013.
The Madrid System, regulated by two treaties, the Madrid Arrangement (1891) and the Madrid Protocol (1989), enables the mark holders to protect their marks in several countries by making a single demand for registration at their national office (such as the INPI in France) or their regional one (such as the OHMI at Community level). Administrated by the WIPO international bureau, this system has several advantages: registration in a single language and savings both at the initial and renewal stages.