At the national/regional level, trademark protection can be obtained through registration, by filing an application for registration with the national/regional trademark office and paying the required fees. At the international level, you have two options: either you can file a trademark application with the trademark office of each country in which you are seeking protection, or you can use WIPO’s Madrid System.
In principle, a trademark registration will confer an exclusive right to the use of the registered trademark. This implies that the trademark can be exclusively used by its owner, or licensed to another party for use in return for payment. Registration provides legal certainty and reinforces the position of the right holder, for example, in case of litigation.
The term of trademark registration can vary, but is usually ten years. It can be renewed indefinitely on payment of additional fees. Trademark rights are private rights and protection is enforced through court orders.
A word or a combination of words, letters, and numerals can perfectly constitute a trademark. But trademarks may also consist of drawings, symbols, three-dimensional features such as the shape and packaging of goods, non-visible signs such as sounds or fragrances, or color shades used as distinguishing features – the possibilities are almost limitless.
WIPO PROOF can prove in-market use of a trademark at an exact point in time by producing immutable digital evidence of such use. This is useful, and essential in certain jurisdictions, for applying for new trademarks or renewing existing trademark registrations.
Trademark topics and issues
From a trip to the shopping mall to an hour in front of the TV, we encounter trademarks at every turn. They are an indispensable tool in today's business world.
The Madrid system for the international registration of trademarks provides a single procedure for the registration of a mark in several territories. In a nutshell, you benefit from one application, in one language, paid in one currency.
Our Global Brand Database provides easy access to over 28 million records from multiple international and national sources, including marks registered through WIPO’s Madrid System. Use the database to search for trademarks, appellations of origin and official emblems.
From Champagne to Habanos cigars, the unique geographical characteristics of a product can be key for branding. The Lisbon System for the international registration of appellations of origin protects such products through a single registration.