WHAT IS MADRID SYSTEM?
It is an international system through which a Trademark can be registered in various contracting parties of madrid protocol and madrid agreement through just one application. It is governed by two treaties, the 'Madrid Agreement concerning the international registration of marks' (also called Madrid Agreement) and the 'Protocol relating to the Madrid Agreement' (also called Madrid Protocol). These treaties are governed by International Bureau (IB) of World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) based in Geneva, Switzerland.
India deposited the instrument of accession to Madrid Protocol on 8th April 2013 becoming the 90th contracting member to this international system. The system came into effect from 8th July 2013. In order to enable the functioning of this system, Indian legislature introduced, Trademarks (amendment) Act 2010 and Trademark (amendment) Rules 2013. The protection is granted for 10 years which is renewable for every 10 years for indefinite period of time.
SPECIAL FEATURES OF MADRID PROTOCOL
The applicant can chose the designating countries where he wishes to apply for International registration of Trademark and can subsequently designate the extension of geographical scope after the registration. Basic irregularities such as name, address, title can be changed online and will be reflected through one single application in International Bureau of WIPO. The process of International registration has a time limit of 12 to 18 months (in India) within which the Trademark has to be granted if all the irregularities are rectified.
An applicant can apply for International registration of Trademarks irrespective of the Basic Trademark granted or pending. The application can be made in one language (English, French or Spanish) with one currency (Swiss Francs) from one region (office of origin) There is just one single expiry date for an international registration of mark irrespective of the number of designating states; hence the registration can be renewed for any or all of the designated states in a simple process within 6 months for next 10 years after 10 years of protection expiry. Trademark portfolio management such as change of ownership, licensing etc. is more cost effective.
More information at http://www.wipo.int/treaties/en/registration/madrid_protocol/