Trademark is a defensive and expansive strategy for businesses round the globe. With the advancement in the globalization and online presence of marketplace, it is not possible to keep the record of information being made public on the social media and internet. The presence of new generation entrepreneurs and competitiveness has resulted in a "who gets there first" mentality. Besides these factors, there are many other factors which have made it mandatory for businesses to protect their brand globally as well as enjoy the benefits from international expansion. International trademark registration is necessary from the view of an entrepreneur as not doing so would definitely weaken the impact of your trademark causing business economic losses and loss to the goodwill as well. Another benefit of international trademark is that it would facilitate licensing trademark right to other entities, which would help in franchise operations.
Trademark rights are territorial in nature and are granted on country by country basis. It can protect your business in your country alright but not overseas. To overcome this problem and ensure your trademark is protect not just in your country but overseas as well, International Trademark is the answer. There is this example of a US based Pinterest who lost its right to use its name or trademark in the country of Europe as a London based Premium Interest Ltd. because it could not register its trademark timely. One can only imagine the loss the company had to incur because of failing to register trademark timely.
Madrid protocol came into operation in 1996 and the system of international trademark registration is governed by this protocol. There are 94 countries in the Madrid protocol including USA, UK, France etc. Madrid protocol is an international system for registration of trademarks. According to this protocol, a mark is secure protected in those countries and jurisdictions which are contracting parties to the protocol based.
Advantages & Disadvantages of Madrid Protocol:
There are certain advantages and disadvantages of the Madrid Protocol. Advantage is that the applicant is provided a centralized and cost-effective registration process. Not only registration, changes in the details of the right-holder can be made with one document sent to the international bureau. Applicants can also add successive designated member countries at a later date under the same registration.
Disadvantage being that it takes 12 to 18 months to get trademark registration. And another is that the system extends only to the protocol countries.