December 14, 2016

2016 marked the 125th anniversary of the Madrid System’s founding treaty, the Madrid Agreement. As the end of this landmark year approaches, here’s a look back at some of the Madrid System’s most notable achievements.

Growing membership and commitment to accession by key trading markets

Since the signing of the Madrid Agreement (the Agreement), membership of the Madrid System has grown steadily. This year, the Registry welcomed Brunei Darussalam as its 98th member.

In November, Brazil’s Minister of Industry, Foreign Trade and Services announced his nation’s intention to join the Madrid System by mid-2018. In addition to Brazil, we expect numerous significant accessions in the coming years, including Canada, the remaining members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), as well as several African and Caribbean nations.

Brazil’s Minister of Industry, Foreign Trade and Services and WIPO’s Director General. (Photo: WIPO)

Registration of mark number 1.3 million, record number of international applications filed

With membership on the rise, the number of international trademark registrations reached 1.3 million following the registration of SkinStudio, a skin care-related trademark by Singapore-based company Best World International Ltd.

By the end of November 2016, the Madrid System had welcomed over 9% more applications as compared to the same time last year, marking our seventh consecutive year of growth and a record number of applications filed. So far, the European Union is the top filer, followed by the United States and Germany.

(Image: WIPO)

Madrid becomes a one-treaty system

In October, the Madrid Union Assembly moved to suspend the application of Articles 14(1) and (2)(a) of the Madrid Agreement, preventing any potential new members from acceding to the Agreement only.

From now on, all new members will be required to accede to the Madrid Protocol (or to both the Protocol and the Agreement), effectively making Madrid a single-treaty system with one unified set of rules. Users and Contracting Parties will continue to benefit from the Protocol’s unique features and flexibility.

Redesigned e-Services and new web content

The development of a comprehensive environment for interaction with IP offices and users remained at the forefront of our initiatives throughout 2016. To this end, we focused on the creation of several new online resources and the launch of e-Madrid, a System-wide initiative to deliver new and enhanced services to support users to obtain and manage international trademark registrations.

Among the enhancements delivered this year were:

Looking ahead to 2017

With several countries on the pathway to accession, the Madrid System moves closer to the vision of its founding members and closer to becoming a truly global system for trademark registration. In the coming year, members and users can look forward to:

  • ongoing development of the System’s rules and regulations, including amendments to the Common Regulations;
  • the launch of a new Madrid Member Profiles database, providing users with access to a wide range of key information on member IP offices, from contact information and fees, to opposition and review processes; and
  • continued expansion of the Madrid System’s online resources, including additional “how to” guides and video tutorials to support users throughout each stage of the lifecycle of their marks.

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