THE WHITE HOUSE
the Press Secretary
U.S.-EU: Madrid Protocol on
The U.S. and the EU have reached an
agreement on procedures that will facilitate international trademark
registration that will save hundreds of millions of dollars for U.S. companies
and substantially reduce the time it will take for them to register their
trademarks in European and other participating countries.
Under the Madrid
Protocol (the Madrid Agreement Concerning the International Registration of
Marks), companies will:
The U.S. and the EU have also agreed on Protocol provisions
for a fair and equitable voting formula under which participating states can
make decisions related to implementation of the Protocol.
- be able to obtain a single registration valid in all
participating EU member countries and other participating states, with one
renewal date, by filing one application (with the World Intellectual Property
Organization - WIPO), with one fee, in one language; and
- no longer be required to register trademarks in individual EU
savings of the Protocol are significant. For example, a U.S. trademark owner
wishing to register a mark in ten different countries currently needs to file
ten separate applications at a cost of at least $14,000. Under the Madrid
Protocol, the total cost would be preset at about $4,700 -- a savings of more
than 67% in total fees.
Companies will also save considerably on fees
relating to amending trademark registrations (e.g. in the event of address
change). Currently, a company with 1,000 trademark registrations in ten
countries would need to file 10,000 amendment applications at a cost of several
thousand dollars. Under the Protocol, the company will need file one amendment
application with WIPO at a cost of about $100.
The protocol will also
lead to greatly reduced waiting periods for processing of trademark
registration applications. Currently, national applications can require up to
four years processing time. Under the Protocol, members must act upon
applications within eighteen months.
The President must submit the
protocol to the U.S. Senate for there advise and consent prior to U.S.
adherence to it.