"Trademarks are part of any industry intellectual property portfolio. There are extremely important to protecting huge investment that industry makes in its products. I think there is more at stake now because brands have more value.
We do have 35,000 trademarks around the world. Clearly, that has cost implication. Our strategy is generally to use the Madrid System as much as we can because it saves some cost and administration.
By using the Madrid System, we can cottage the need to use a trademark attorney in many instances when you file, but particularly once the mark is registered, if we need to assign a mark or record a change of a name, to renew the mark, that could be done very cheaply and easy, using one form through WIPO. There is no need for powers of attorney; we don’t have to translate anything. It is just all very easy.
We would certainly turn first to the Madrid System before we will consider any national registrations.
Of course you will have to use national registration for certain type of purely local mark or mark set in the local language.
We will try to use the Madrid System, even if we had only two countries to designate. Because the other advantages you got is the subsequent designation; so you don’t have to decide which country you want to designate right from the beginning. You can wait until later and designate subsequently countries where you may be expanding your market.
The Madrid System provides a choice. It is not an alternative to national route, you still use that. But by having the Madrid System, we found it frees up budget money for more important things like fighting counterfeiting.
One of the things we or I really like is the cost calculator that you have on your web site. I often open that up with my in-house clients, the marketing department, because we can sit down with the tool and say they want to protect the mark in these countries and I can put in the countries and work out immediately what it is all going to cost. So it is very convenient way of working out cost.
It is a good system. I am 100 per cent in favor of it."