Pakistan joins International Trade Mark System

April 2021

Pakistan has recently deposited its instrument of accession to the Madrid Protocol with the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) in Geneva, meaning the Madrid System of International Trade Marks now covers 124 countries. 

The Madrid System makes it possible for people and businesses to apply for trade mark protection in numerous jurisdictions at the same time and in a single application.  Subject to certain exceptions, applicants can elect for their application to cover one, some or all of the territories which are members of the system.  These so-called ‘International Applications’ are usually based on an earlier application or registration in the applicant’s home jurisdiction, and remain dependent on the life of that ‘basic’ application or registration for the first five years of their lives.  

If certain formal requirements are met, International Applications are formally registered by WIPO, who forward them on to the national Registries of each of the countries the applicant listed in the International Application, who decide whether or not to grant protection in their territories under their own national laws.  If objections or issues arise, local counsel usually needs to be engaged to address the matter.

Whilst an International Application does not itself guarantee protection in all of the countries it lists, or that costs of engaging local counsel around the world can always be avoided, it provides a streamlined, cost-effective means for Applicants to file, renew and transfer rights to a trade mark in many jurisdictions around the world, without the need to file separately on a territory by territory basis.

From 24 May 2021, applicants for International Trade Mark Registrations will be able to list Pakistan as one of the countries in which they wish to seek protection for their marks. 

Beck Greener are experts in the Madrid System, and have been successfully filing, administering, and prosecuting International trade marks around the world for decades.  If you are interested in protecting your trade mark around the world, we would be happy to assist.