What is the effect of IR TM Registration?
From the date of the IR TM’s registration, the protection of the mark in each of the designated countries is the same as if the mark had been the subject to an application for registration filed directly with the national Trademark Office of that Contracting Party. Therefore, the IR registration results in a bundle of national trademark registrations.
An international registration is effective for 10 years. It may be renewed for further periods of 10 years on payment of the prescribed International trademark renewal fees.
Who can file application for IR TM Registration?
The Madrid system is a closed trademark filing system, which practically means that only TM applicants who are residents, nationals or have a place of business in at least one of all contracting states of the Madrid Union may file international trademark application. An international TM application may have several applicants, but at least one of them must be a resident of Madrid Union’s contracting state.
Of particular importance is the fact that before the application for international TM registration is filed, the same trademark must have already been applied for or registered in the country of origin, i.e. by national or regional TM. For instance, Bulgarian applicants for IR registration must initially either have registered Bulgarian Trademark or European Union (EU) Trademark or filed applications for Bulgarian Trademark Registration or European Union Trademark Registration. Without such application or registrations at the national or regional patent offices, the applicant cannot proceed further with the IR application.
Another important aspect, is that the IR TM application must be filed through the national or regional office of the country of origin of the earlier trademark. In the above example, the IR TM application must be filed either with the Bulgarian Patent Office (BPO) or European Union Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO) respectively.