World Intellectual Property Organization

Transcript from the Video Interview with Treasury Wine Estates on the Madrid system

Treasury Wine Estates is the largest pure play publically listed wine company in the world. It has revenues of around 1.8 billion a year, it has operations in Australia, in New Zealand, and the US and Europe and it employees nearly 4,000 people globally.

Quite simply our brands are the backbone of our company. We have more than 50 brands. Some of them are the oldest and most prestigious brands in the world, that would include for example Australia's most famous brand internationally Penfolds, That was created in 1844. Like wise we have a brand called Lindemans which sells more than 7 million cases a year, that dates back to 1843 and if we turn towards the US we own the famous Berenger brand which was created in 1876 in Napper Valley.

TWE first started using the MADRID system in 2001 when Australia joined the international treaty. Since that time it has lodged around 70 national registrations under the system. The impact on Trade Mark Management is quite profound. Firstly to obtain a registration it is faster, less costly and simpler than the previous system.

When you turn to maintaining your trademark portfolio it even offers greater advantages for example, if we were to change ownership that can be effected very very quickly via a single form. A renewal similarly can be done by a single form across many many countries, if we change the address  of a company or a name of a company, likewise it can be handled far more efficaciously than the previous system.

The focus of the debate around the MADRID is often on the Trade Mark Management System within a company whereas the real benefit implies strongly to the business operations of a company. For example it possible on the new system to much better synchronise and align trademark management with marketing plans and business strategy.  Secondly the use of the system means you can reduce complexity, operational risk and uncertainty. We use the MADRID system in TWE wherever we possibly can. At the moment some 86 countries belong to the MADRID system, where a country does not belong we must use the old system, however where we have a combination a matrix if you like of old and new, we will use the MADRID system if one or two countries are the only ones who belong to the system in a particular market.

The cost savings are a little difficult to quantify given that we're both operating under old and new system, but our experience of ten years operating on the MADRID system would indicate that pre registration it is possible to save in the order of 30% of what was paid under the previous system, in terms of post registration benefits, the gains are even larger if you like and we would estimate we would save at least 50% of the cost of previously incurred in doing the same thing under the old system.

It is important to realise the role in intellectual property has changed immensely as we move into global markets and globalisation generally. Once intellectual property was important or viewed as important  simply to legally protect an asset. Today if you look around the world intellectual property is a major strategic driver and growth mechanism for companies through innovation. What the MADRID system does is recognise that profound change that has taken place in the business around the globe and designed a system that recognises these needs for reduced complexity, speed to market, cost and that's why it's seen as so useful to business.

It also manifested advantages in the fact that staff now understand the role of intellectual property much better so you gain better understanding and much higher effectiveness in deriving value from intellectual property assets. There is no doubt that the MADRID system is the way of the future because it's aligned with where the world is going in terms of business and innovation. Our only wish is that other countries would join the system sooner rather than later and then we can obtain the true benefit of a global integrated trademark system.

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