Malawi has deposited its instrument of accession to the Madrid Protocol with World Intellectual Property (Wipo’s) director general, making the country, the 102nd member of the Madrid System.
The Madrid System now covers 118 countries. The protocol will enter into force for Malawi on December 25 2018, according to a statement released by Wipo on Wednesday.
“Starting December 25, 2018 local brand owners in Malawi can begin using the Madrid System to protect their marks in the 117 territories of the System’s other 101 members by filing a single international application and paying a single set of fees,” the statement reads in part.
What the deal means is that with its straightforward designation process, foreign companies and trademark owners can, from this December, seek trademark protection through the Madrid System when selling their products and services in Malawi.
The deposit of instruments, made by Minister of Justice and Constitutional Affairs Samuel Tembenu, includes declarations under Articles 5(2)(b) and (c) of the Protocol (extension of the refusal period to 18 months and beyond for oppositions), Rules 7(2) (intention to use the mark), among others.
Malawi’s accession spotlights the Madrid System’s emergence as a key component of protecting marks internationally, offering a convenient and cost-effective solution to brand owners worldwide.
The Madrid System makes it possible for firms to apply for trademark protection in up to 118 territories by filing a single international application with the national or regional IP office of a Madrid System member.
With the Madrid System, the process of multinational trademark registration is streamlined through a single application and management process.
“The Madrid Registry is focused on delivering a streamlined, customer-driven experience for users throughout the lifecycle of their mark with its evolving suite of e-services and online resources,” the statement states.