Mexico Joins the International Trademark System

Mexico's Secretary of Economy Bruno Ferrari and Director General Francis Gurry (Photo: WIPO/Berrod)

On November 19, 2012, Mexico’s Secretary of Economy, Bruno Ferrari, deposited Mexico’s instrument of accession to the Madrid Protocol for the International Registration of Marks (Madrid Protocol). The treaty entered into force with respect to Mexico on February 19, 2013. This brings the total number of members in the Madrid Protocol to 89.

The Madrid Protocol offers trademark owners a cost effective, user friendly, and streamlined way to protect their trademarks internationally. In 2012, the Philippines, Colombia, New Zealand and Mexico acceded to the Madrid system, which results in geographical expansion of the system.

The Madrid Protocol is administered by the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO). It allows a trademark owner to protect a mark in up to 88 countries in addition to the European Union with its Community Trade Mark (CTM) by filing one application in one language (English, Spanish, or French), with one set of fees, in one currency (Swiss Francs), which significantly simplifies the process of protecting a trademark internationally. Applicants that want to utilize the Madrid Protocol  must apply for trademark protection in a relevant national or regional trademark office before seeking international protection. An international registration under the Madrid Protocol has the same effect as an application for registration of the mark in each of the contracting parties designated by the applicant.

If the protection is not refused by the trademark office of a designated contracting party, the status of the mark is the same as if it had been registered by that office. Later, the international registration can be maintained and renewed through a single procedure.