A commercial litigator, M. Keith Lipscomb offers his services to clients of Lipscomb, Eisenberg & Baker, P.L. Trained in numerous intellectual property matters, M. Keith Lipscomb helps clients understand the Madrid Protocol.
Encompassing 90 countries, the Madrid Protocol is one of the most important international regulations regarding intellectual property. Its full name is the Protocol Relating to the Madrid Agreement Concerning the International Registration of Marks. This treaty enables intellectual property owners to file for trademark registration in any and all of its member nations (also known as “Contracting Parties”) through a single application. Intellectual property owners must first file in their country of origin; following this, the International Bureau of the World Intellectual Property Organization, based in Switzerland, handles all approvals and denials. If a trademark is approved, applicants receive permission for an initial trademark term of 10 years, and may pay for an additional decade of protection near the completion of each term.
While the United States first became party to the Madrid Protocol in 2003, the history of the system dates back over a century. The progenitor of this program, the Madrid Agreement Concerning the International Registration of Marks, was put into effect in 1891 by several European countries. In 1989, with the purpose of attracting more members, the system was updated through the passing of the Madrid Protocol. The most recent country to join is India, which approved the system in 2013.