Updated on: Sep 24th, 2021
6 min read
Trademark is a unique name, symbol, words, letters, or graphics representing a company or business. The goods and services provided by a business owner or entrepreneur will contain the trademark of the company. Registration of a trademark will protect its unique position.
When a trademark is registered in a particular country, the trademark will obtain protection only in that country. If the trademark owners want international trademark protection, they must register the trademark in the respective foreign country/countries they wish to receive protection. To avoid the multiplicity/duplicity of trademark applications in each country and to decrease the cost, the Madrid Protocol came into force.
According to the Madrid Protocol agreement, the trademark owners can register their trademarks in multiple countries (who are members of the Madrid Union) by filing a single application. The WIPO (World Intellectual Property Organization) regulates the Madrid Protocol. India became a member of the Madrid Protocol on 8 July 2013.
The foreign proprietors having an international trademark must register their trademark in India for protecting it from any infringement that may take place in India. They can file a trademark application in India for obtaining trademark registration when their country is a member of the Madrid Protocol.
A foreign trademark owner can apply for trademark registration for more than one product or service in India since India acknowledges multi-class applications. The goods and services are divided into 42 classes for trademark registration in India.
Before applying for trademark registration in India, the foreign trademark owner should arrange the relevant documents for registering them and must have obtained registration for the trademark in his/her country. Foreigners cannot directly apply for trademark registration in India without registering it in their home country unless their principal place of business is in India.
The process of applying for trademark registration in India under the Madrid Protocol by foreigners are as follows:
When foreigners obtain trademark protection in India under the Madrid Protocol, they get the exclusive right to use it for their products sold or services given in India. They will get recognition from Indian customers and markets. It differentiates their products or services from other similar products or services.
In case of infringement or misuse of the trademark, foreigners who have a trademark registration in India can take legal action against the third party. The international trademark registered under the Madrid Protocol gets the same protection as a trademark registered in India. They can sue anyone who uses their registered trademarks without authorised permission.
The international trademark that has obtained the trademark registration in India will be valid for ten years and, they can be renewed for another ten years from the expiry of the preceding period. A grace period of six months is granted for foreigners to renew their trademark registration in India upon payment of the surcharge prescribed by the trademark rules.
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