WIPO Launches On-Line Service for Renewal of International Trademarks

Geneva, April 7, 2006
Press Updates UPD/2006/269

The World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) launched a new service this week that will enable trademark owners to renew their international trademark registrations on-line, making this a more cost-effective and efficient procedure. The new "e-renewal" service which was launched on April 3, 2006, is a simple way of renewing international trademark registrations up to six months before the date on which the payment of the renewal fee is due. The new service is available from WIPO's website at https://www.wipo.int/e-marks.

Under the new WIPO e-renewal service, users can renew trademarks registered under the Madrid System for the International Registration of Trademarks simply by entering the number of their international registration. A screen will then show the name of the holder of that international registration, the name of the representative, if any, and the list of the states in which the international registration may be renewed. Having selected the countries for which renewal is sought, the fees due are automatically calculated.

WIPO will continue to receive requests for renewal of international applications on paper for trademark owners that wish to continue to do so. Full details of the new service are are available from the WIPO website at: https://www.wipo.int/madrid/en/notices/.

The international trademark system administered by WIPO offers a trademark owner the possibility of having a mark protected in up to 77 countries by filing one application, in one language (English, French or Spanish), with one set of fees, in one currency (Swiss Francs). Applicants wishing to use the Madrid system must apply for trademark protection in a relevant national or regional trademark office before seeking international protection. Thereafter, the international registration can be maintained and renewed through a single procedure. An international registration under the Madrid system produces the same effects as an application for registration of the mark in each of the contracting parties designated by the applicant. If protection is not refused by the trademark office of a designated contracting party, the status of the mark is the same as if it had been registered by that office. In other words, the system provides a cost-effective and efficient way for trademark holders to secure protection for their marks in multiple countries through the filing of a single application.

The system is governed by two international treaties, namely the Madrid Agreement and the Madrid Protocol. The Madrid Protocol which became operational in 1996 introduced several features including the ability to submit applications in English and to extend the period for notification of a refusal. These features made the system more flexible and attractive to a larger number of countries. The total number of countries party to the Protocol is 67 and the overall current membership of the Madrid system is 78 (77 countries plus the European Community (EC).

Trademarks are a key component of any successful business marketing strategy as they allow them to identify, promote and license their goods or services in the marketplace and to distinguish these from those of their competitors, thereby cementing customer loyalty. A trademark symbolizes the promise of a quality product and in today's global and increasingly electronic marketplace a trademark is often the only way for customers to identify a company's products and services. Trademark protection hinders moves by unfair competitors to "free ride" on the goodwill of a company by using similar distinctive signs to market inferior or similar products or services. Loss, dilution or infringement of a high-value trademark could prove devastating to a business.

For further information, please contact the Media Relations and Public Affairs Section at WIPO:

  • Tel: (+41 22) 338 81 61 or (+41 22) 338 95 47;
  • E-mail: publicinf@wipo.int
  • Fax: (+41 22) 338 82 80.