Brussels, 21st June 2004
The European Community is submitting today to the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) in Geneva its instrument of accession to the Madrid Protocol on the international registration of trademarks. It is the first time that the EC as such accedes to a WIPO treaty. This link will allow businesses to benefit from the advantages of the Community Trademark through the Madrid Protocol system and vice-versa, which will simplify procedures, reduce the costs for international protection and make administration easier.
Internal Market Commissioner Frits Bolkestein welcomed the accession of the EC and said: “European businesses will now be able to obtain and protect their trademarks internationally in a simple, affordable and effective way, as they have wanted for some time. At the same time this should further stimulate trade and innovation, create new commercial opportunities and boost integration within the EU Internal Market.”
The accession of the EC to the Madrid Protocol will establish a link between the Madrid Protocol system, which is administered by WIPO, and the Community Trademark system, which is administered by the Office of Harmonisation in the Internal Market (OHIM) in Alicante (Spain), to which all applications for Community Trademarks are submitted.
As soon as the accession enters into force on 1 October 2004, Community
Trademark applicants and holders will be allowed to apply for international
protection of their trademarks through the filing of an international
application under the Madrid Protocol. Conversely, holders of international
registrations under the Madrid Protocol will be entitled to apply for protection
of their trademarks under the Community trademark system.
For further information, please consult the following websites: