Madrid System governed only by the Madrid Protocol

INPI
Instituto Nacional da Propriedade Industrial

The Protocol Relating to the Madrid Agreement Concerning the International Registration of Marks — the Madrid Protocol — is one of two treaties comprising the Madrid System for international registration of trademarks.

The protocol is a filing treaty and it provides a cost-effective and efficient way to ensure protection for marks in multiple countries through the filing of one application with a single office, in one language, with one set of fees, in one currency.

The Madrid Protocol also simplifies the management of the mark, since a simple, single procedural step serves to record subsequent changes in ownership or in the name or address of the holder with World Intellectual Property Organization’s International Bureau.

With the recent access of Algeria to the Madrid Protocol Relating to the Madrid Agreement Concerning the International Registration of Marks, the filing and management of international registrations will be simplified. Signatory to the Madrid Agreement since 1972, the country was the last of the 95 members of the Madrid System which was not party of the Protocol.

This represents a milestone for the Madrid System. From now on all the international registrations of marks will be exclusively governed by the Madrid Protocol.

As explained by WIPO, “An international registration produces the same effects as an application for registration of the mark made in each of the countries designated by the applicant. If protection is not refused by the trademark Office of a designated country within a specified period (12 or 18 months), the protection of the mark is the same as if it had been registered by that Office. The Madrid system simplifies greatly also the subsequent management of the mark, since it is possible to record subsequent changes (such as a change in ownership or a change in the name or address of the holder) or to renew the registration through a simple single procedural step with the International Bureau of WIPO. Further countries may be designated subsequently.”

La marca: una herramienta para la toma de decisiones

Carolina Belmar
Trademark Subdirector at INAPI

Día a día nos vemos rodeados de una abundante oferta de productos y servicios, más o menos similares, entre los cuales debemos decidir cuál de ellos elegimos. En este escenario, las marcas ayudan a diferenciar y distinguir unos de otros.

El origen de las marcas se remonta a la antigüedad, cuando los artesanos reproducían sus firmas o “marcas” en los productos y, si bien en un principio, buscaba indicar propiedad, con el desarrollo del intercambio comercial ha evolucionado para servir como identificador del origen de los productos y servicios que se ofrecen en el mercado. En este sentido, la marca es un elemento que ayuda a ordenar el mercado en tanto busca evitar la confusión en el público consumidor.

En Chile, las marcas comerciales se encuentran reguladas en el Título II de la Ley 19.039 de Propiedad Industrial, que señala que bajo la denominación de marca comercial se comprende “Todo signo que sea susceptible de representación gráfica capaz de distinguir en el mercado productos, servicios o establecimientos industriales o comerciales. Tales signos podrán consistir en palabras, incluidos los nombres de personas, letras, números, elementos figurativos tales como imágenes, gráficos, símbolos, combinaciones de colores, sonidos, así como también, cualquier combinación estos signos”.

Las marcas, por tanto, pueden incluir nombres de fantasía (Kodak para material fotográfico), figuras (piénsese en esa especie de tic que utiliza la marca deportiva Nike), sonidos (recuérdese los acordes en guitarra eléctrica de la compañía Virgin Mobile) o combinaciones de unos u otros.

La marca es percibida como un elemento de identidad en la extensa variedad de productos y servicios ofertados en el mercado, contribuye a la transparencia y favorece la competencia. La marca, además, puede servir para señalar que un determinado producto es depositario de ciertas connotaciones -negativas o positivas, según el cliente-, confrontándose con otras en el proceso de comercialización. Las experiencias de los consumidores, respecto de un determinado producto o servicio, le permitirán en sus decisiones futuras definir rápidamente la elección de uno por sobre otro. En esa decisión, la marca cumple un rol fundamental, facilitando la identificación y finalmente la adquisición.

Un producto que posee ciertas cualidades adquiere a través del tiempo un prestigio definido, que podrá potenciarse y mantenerse gracias a la acción de una marca posicionada. Esta reputación se hace extensiva no sólo al producto sino además a quien lo elabora, e incluso podría llegar a identificar a quienes lo consumen.

Una marca que se mantiene y consolida en el mercado es entonces un agente silencioso y eficaz de la procedencia, a la vez que como signo distintivo comunica cualidades y atributos del bien que se comprará o del servicio que se obtendrá. Por tanto, es capaz de desarrollar una especie de “personalidad exclusiva”, capacitada para prestigiar a fabricantes y consumidores.

Frente a la potencial adquisición de un producto o servicio y ante la multiplicidad de opciones, uno de los primeros elementos que atrae a la mayoría de las personas, es la marca. De allí que, en algunos casos, ha llegado a transformarse en un símbolo que entrega, o definitivamente niega, la calidad y confianza de los consumidores.

De las múltiples marcas que se usan profusamente en el mercado; sin embargo, sólo aquellas que han sido registradas cuentan con el derecho exclusivo de usar ese signo distintivo en el mercado para los productos o servicios en que ha sido registrado.

Mayores informaciones en http://www.inapi.cl

Two Cents on the new Industrial Property Law

Maximiliano Santa Cruz Scantlebury
National Director of the National Institute of Industrial Property – INAPI

The National Institute of Industrial Property (INAPI) is promoting the substitution of the current Industrial Property number 19.039 by a modern regulation which allows simple, faster and lower cost procedures on trademarks, patents and industrial designs.

The bill seeks to encourage innovation, knowledge transfer and allow consumers to discriminate products and services on a better way. I want to provide two cases, one related to trademarks and another to industrial design. The bill has contemplated the trademark expiration arguing the lack of real and effective use by the owner right or a third party with his consent in the national territory; this rectification pretends to guarantee the indissolubility link between the trademark, the object to be distinguished and the purpose in the market.

With such proposal, INAPI seeks to prevent the blocking on the trademark protection system due to the registry of simple formal rights producing saturation as well; in this way, we avoid the registration of trademarks with no intention to be used in the market and generating blocking for new entrants. The bill forces the registrant to properly use the trademark, with the aim to assure that every register counts with a product or service effectively traded in the market, notwithstanding that might be valid reasons to justify not using it.

In this manner, the owner right will fall into an expiration causal whether has been passed five years from the date of concession and the trademark has not been used in a real and effective way within national territory to distinguish the products or services for which has been granted; or in the case if such using has been uninterruptedly suspended during the same span.

The requirement of using is a demand that almost all countries consider in their trademark legislation. Chile is lagging on this issue and the bill goal is to prevent not using trademarks to impede the introduction of firms willing to use new denomination, either similar or identical, creating a barrier for competitors. In other words, the trademark registration must effectively reflect the reality on the market, because favors free competition and the creation of new businesses.

In the case of industrial design, the current legislation does not favor the national inventors and designers. The industrial design protects the appearances of functional objects, by its form, geometric configuration, and ornamentation or by their combination. Currently the legal proceeding for obtaining the industrial design is performed according to the applicable rules of invention patent; by other meaning, it uses time limit and formalities which are not fitting with his nature. As consequent it has a larger cost and longer processing time, which in many cases exceeds two years, making them a useless tool to foster those kinds of creations in our country. The industrial design is an intangible asset with a short useful life which is easy to copy; therefore a granting procedure as the present does not fit with its nature.

Hence the bill establishes a new procedure with the goal to stimulate the effectiveness on the legal proceeding and by this way adjusts to the needs of national inventors and designers. Having an expedited system for such rights is remarkably important if the aim is supporting entrepreneurs and innovators to protect their creations; therefore these modifications on the new bill are essential to benefit the applicants.

Registering your trademark in Latin America through Madrid System

When an SME wants to register an IPR in different countries there are two alternatives, to apply for the IPR before each national office or to use one of the WIPO international registration systems, namely Madrid System (trademarks), Patent Cooperation Treaty (patents) and Hague System (Designs).

In this post we are going to explain how Madrid System can be a useful tool for EU SMEs that aim to protect their trademarks abroad, benefiting from simpler and cost-effective proceedings.

The Madrid System is not implemented in most Latin American countries. Nevertheless, this situation is expected to change in the near future, therefore EU companies that want to internationalise to Latin America may be interested in registering its trademark through Madrid System on the current members (Colombia, Cuba and Mexico) and hopefully, extend the protection to further members once them enter into the system. madrid-system

What is Madrid System?

Madrid System is the WIPO International Trademark Registration system governed by the Madrid Protocol and Agreement. It allows trademark applicants to apply for registration in various countries simultaneously with a single application.

Who can benefit from the system?

Any national or company from a Member State of the Protocol or the Agreement. All EU Member States have ratified the Protocol.

In which Latin American countries could I apply from protection through Madrid System?

Only a few Latin American countries (Colombia, Cuba and Mexico) are members of the Madrid System.

How does it work?

EU applicants can request an International Trademark Registration before their own national IP office or the EUIPO (Office of Origin). The International application must be based on a prior trademark application or registration (both EU and national trademarks are accepted).

Thereafter the Office of Origin submits the application to WIPO, that performs the formal examination, publishes it on the WIPO Gazette of International Marks, and send it to each national IP office where the applicant want to protect the trademark (Designated Party).

IMPORTANT! Each national office is entitled to perform the substantive examination according to its internal regulation and to reject or register the trademark within 12 months (Cuba) or 18 months (Colombia and Mexico). In case of third parties oppositions, the term in Colombia to reject the trademark might be extended.

Once the trademark is registered in all or some of the countries the renewal and modifications are centralised by WIPO and you can manage it as a single registration.

How much does it cost?la-logo

It strongly depends on the number of countries, the type of trademark and the number of classes for which protection is sough.

We strongly recommend you to check the useful International Application Simulator and Fee calculator offered by WIPO on its website.

What are the main advantages?

Madrid applicants may benefit from certain advantages over those that prefer to register on a country-by-country basis:

  • The trademark is applied for in a single language: English, Spanish or French, without the need of further translations.
  • Applicants benefit from a simplified application proceeding instead filing a bundle of applications before each national office.
  • Each due fee is paid in a single currency (Swiss francs) and a single payment.
  • Any modification, renewal or transfer can be done directly before WIPO with effects in all Designated Parties.
  • As a general rule, it is not mandatory to appoint and pay a representative on each Designated Party except in certain cases (e.g. the trademark is opposed)
  • Once registered, it is possible to extend the International Trademark protection to other countries by means of subsequent designations. This is very useful if the company wants to enter into new markets or if a new Latin American country in which the SME operates enters Madrid System.

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