Madrid System Mid-Year Review
July 19, 2018
Madrid Registry Director, Mr. Marcus Höpperger, recently provided an update on the Madrid System at the 2018 INTA Annual Meeting, which took place from May 19 to 23 in Seattle (USA).
Mr. Höpperger reported a record-breaking number of new applications filed in 2017. The 56,200 applications represented year-on-year growth of five percent, with the increase mainly fueled by new applications from China, the Russian Federation and the United Kingdom.
On latest legal developments, Mr. Höpperger highlighted the discussion in the July 2018 Madrid System Working Group, on how the international trademark registration system could accommodate non-graphic representations of certain new types of marks, such as sound marks.
The Working Group Roundtable, held earlier this month, focused on the new and improved third edition of the classification guidelines. These guidelines are designed to improve applicant understanding of the classification principles applied by WIPO.
The Director of the Madrid Registry also pointed out that the most recent Madrid Protocol accessions – Thailand, Indonesia and Afghanistan – further expand the presence of the Madrid System in Asia. Additional geographic expansion was also expected in North America, South America, the Caribbean, Africa and the Gulf region in the coming two to three years.
Mr. Khachaphorn Thiengtrakul, Head of Madrid Application Receiving Office, Department of Intellectual Property of Thailand identified three key features of the trademark application process in Thailand:
- A transparent fee of 15,400 Thai Baht for an international application
- The requirement to translate non-Latin characters into English
- The opportunity for Thai trademark owners to designate up to 116 countries in their international applications
Mr. Höpperger also drew attention to efforts to streamline and simplify the Madrid System’s e-Services, particularly through the introduction of the Madrid Monitor and Member Profiles databases, to accommodate the needs of a growing user base and to improve the Registry’s operational efficiency.
WIPO Madrid customer service has also been revamped, with the online Contact Madrid form functioning as a single point of contact, allowing users to direct queries to the right services resulting in faster response times.