Thursday, August 14, 2008

What are the main features of the Madrid Agreement?

Main features of the Madrid Agreement are as follows :

1. An applicant must be a national of a member country. A person having his domicile or a real and effective industrial or commercial interest in such a country is also eligible. It may be noted that this would be governed by the national laws of the country in question:

2. A mark to be registered in member states should be first registered at the national level in the country of origin of the applicant. The first registration is called 'basic registration'.

3. The country having given the basic registration can only transmit there quest for international filing to the International Bureau of the World Intellectual Property Organization (WI PO) along with the list of the countries in which protection is being sought. There 'is no provision for directly filing a request under the Agreement.

4. It may be iterated that the country of origin has to be a member state. The role of the office of the country of origin is not only to send the application for international registration but also to certify that the mark which is the subject of the international registration, is the same mark which is the subject of the basic registration.

5. For each application fees has to be paid for each designated country and WIPO. The fees paid for the designated countries is called the 'complementary fee'.

6. The International Bureau notifies the international registration to the offices of the designated countries and publishes it in a monthly periodical called 'The WIPO Gazette of International Marks'.

7. If the basic registration is cancelled for some reasons, in the country of origin, during the first five years, the international registration automatically stands cancelled in all the designated countries. This also gives an advantage to a person to oppose the registration of a mark only in the country of origin and that person need not oppose it in all the designated countries. This possibility of challenging an international registration through a national registration is referred to as 'Central Attack' feature of the Agreement.

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