Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) is one of the key success factors behind every business as that is destined to create long lasting impression in the mind of the stakeholders of your business. As more and more industries and businesses are turning knowledge driven and thereby breaking all territorial, economic and social barriers there is a need to protect it from unauthorized use. As the World is now in your hands and all the brands and images are highly exposed it is important to create an effective eco system that protects the intellectual properties in all the Countries in which the marks are exposed to. The accession to the Madrid Protocol for international registration of the marks in 2013 has been a significant step by India towards Global Protection of marks.
Branding your business.
Your brand is your strongest asset. It identifies your product, your service, your company and it can be represented by a sign, a symbol, a design, a work, a color or a combination thereof. Even sound, smell and taste can be registered, even though that is non-conventional.
If you are a company, society, trust, firm, sole proprietor or any other entrepreneur, you can take the advantage of the Madrid Protocol and protect your marks globally. Creating a brand implies choosing the sign (trade mark) that will distinguish your products or services from that of others. It is very important to legally protect your mark by doing timely registration. A trade mark confers on you the exclusive right to prevent third parties from using the signs that distinguish your brand in the course of your trade for identical or similar goods.
The validity of the registration of trademark in India is for a period of 10 (ten) years and that can be renewed indefinitely. It will help you to protect your mark from counterfeiters and infringers. Assignment and licencing of the trademarks play a vital role in brand commercialisation through partnership, merger and franchising initiatives.
Protecting your mark outside India.
Trademarks are territorial in nature and is valid only within the territorial limits of the country in which it is registered. For example, if your mark is registered in India, it is protected only in India and you cannot sue an infringer who is outside the India. If you are into export business, whether products or services, your mark is required to be protected in those territories which you wish to commercialize your products or services. In order to register your marks in the desired countries you have to go through a cumbersome process such as filing of separate applications, translation of the documents into respective countries official language, identifying and engaging an attorney in that country to carry out the formalities etc. All these will consume in high amount of time and money. If you want to assign or licence it further you have to go through equally painful process.
But being an Indian National or a person domiciled in India, you can enjoy the benefits of Madrid Protocol, an international agreement to which India is a signatory and thereby take advantage of an alternative, cost effective, most attractive and user friendly route to acquire and manage your trade mark outside India.
Madrid Protocol- A silk route for global branding
Madrid union is having 100 Members and they represent 80% of World Trade flows and constitutes very attractive markets for Indian exports. Most of the India’s top trading partners are members in Madrid Union. The Fifteen major export countries having accounted for 60% of Indian exports in 2016 include ten members of Madrid Union.
User friendly procedures under protocol
The Madrid Protocol is administered by the World Intellectual Property Organisation [WIPO] , which is a specialized agency of the United Nations , headquartered in Geneva, Switzerland. The systems under the protocol enables easy , attractive and cost effective modalities for registration of the trademarks through centralized filing system.
Multi nation protection in single filing.
Based on the application filed by you for your trade mark in India, then you can file the application for registration of that mark in any of the member countries by filing an online application from India. The said application will be transmitted to WIPO for examination, registration and publication. The Madrid union members are following strict timelines throughout the process. In case the designated member does not communicate any objection within 18 months from the date of notification of the international registration, the mark under the international registration, is deemed to be protected within the territory of that member, as it the same has been registered directly with the IP office of that member.
Centralised management of the trade marks
Once the mark is registered, then it is possible to manage your rights on the internationally registered marks by following online procedures at a single point (WIPO) and you can renew your trademark rights every ten years, extend the timelimit of protection and request for licencing, assignment, change of name or address, limitations, renunciations etc in a hassle free manner.
The major advantage of Madrid Protocol is not only the cost saving and hassle free registration but the easiest way to make the presence of your brand in global platform .
It is advisable to protect your mark in all the territories in which it has exposure. It is easy. It is cost effective. Let your brand fly in colors.