Madrid Protocol in Latin America: A trademark perspective
Several international Intellectual Property (IP) organizations have been actively promoting the Madrid Protocol in Latin American countries. Among others, the main organizations participating in this campaign are the International Trademark Association (INTA), the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) and the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO).
The combination of Latin American governments modernizing their IP systems, the increase of investments of small and medium-sized economy enterprises in the region and the signing of trade related agreements all indicate that Latin America may be preparing for the adoption of the Madrid Protocol. International IP organizations have being quite active throughout the region in the sense of encouraging adoption of the Madrid Protocol by highlighting the benefits that this would entail.
The advantages stressed by INTA, for instance, in their promotion initiative include the following:
- 1. A simple and time- and cost-effective registration system (savings calculated to be 67% in total fees).
- 2. Multiple registrations using one application in one language that can be in English, French or Spanish and one application fee.
- 3. Streamlining of office procedures.
- 4. Co-existence with national trademark systems, providing an alternative route for registering marks.
The signing of the Trans-Pacific Partnership Treaty (TPP) by Mexico, Peru and Chile is another indication that the region is opening way to implementing the Protocol since the TPP contains a provision that the parties are obliged to accede to IP-related treaties, among which the Madrid Protocol is included, and will most likely prevail. The Madrid Agreement centralizes the management of trademark portfolios, allowing the applicants to pay one set of fees to obtain international registration in multiple territories, as well as recording changes on the International Registrations through one single electronic platform with effective results in the territories of the signatories.
Of the three Latin American countries that are members of the TPP, there has being serious indications that Peru is truly considering joining the Madrid Protocol. As a result, out of the 12 TPP members, 10 are already members or at least they are giving a certain consideration of joining, this according to a statement made by David Muls, WIPO’s senior director of the Madrid Registry.
Despite the resistance shown by the region, eventually more and more Latin American countries will lean towards acceding the Protocol.
INTA (2016). Topic Portal: Madrid Protocol in Latin America. International Trademark Association. Available at http://www.inta.org on September 22, 2016.