India, on 8th April 8, 2013, acceded to the protocol relating to the Madrid Agreement concerning International Registration of Trade Marks, known as Madrid Protocol, by depositing its instrument of accession with the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO). The Madrid Protocol comes into force, with respect to India, on 8th July, 2013 as per Information Notice No. 15/2013 dated 29th May, 2013 issued by WIPO.
Universally, trade marks have evolved as an important tool of global brand identification through which one can distinguish his goods and services from others’ goods and services across borders. Globalization along with highly advanced means of telecommunication has ensured rapid spread of awareness of goods and services from across the globe. Brands are, now, even built overnight, not only by well established multi-national companies but also by growing small and medium indigenous enterprises.
However, the protection of these brands and trade marks is territorial in nature. To augment global trade mark protection, India, one of the fastest growing economies of the world, acceded to the Madrid Protocol whereby the protection for a particular trade mark is extended across jurisdictions of the member countries. This step towards implementation of Madrid Protocol is deemed to provide a cost-effective platform to the applicants for securing registration of their trade marks. The Protocol enables international registration of a trade mark in multiple jurisdictions by making a single application at the head office of the national Trade Mark Registry.
To give effect to the Madrid Protocol in India, the Indian legislature has introduced The Trade Marks (Amendment) Act, 2010 as well as The Trade Marks (Amendment) Rules, 2013, which, together, elucidate a comprehensive procedure for applications originating both from India (as the Office of Origin) as well as oversees (where India is the designated country). The procedure elucidated under the Madrid Protocol not only provides a wider protection of the trademark but is also considered a speedy and cost effective procedure.