The Madrid Protocol enables owners of trademark applications and registrations to extend their rights to dozens of other member countries. Filing these International applications can be accomplished without the appointment of a local agent in the designated countries. Thus, proceeding through the Protocol is much less expensive than filing nationally. These International rights are sought through the applicants’ home office using either the English or French language. A single filing fee is payable in the applicant’s home currency. This eliminates the need to process multiple bills fromdifferent countries. Over 65 countries are currently within the system including the United States, Australia, China, the European Union, France, Germany, Japan and the United Kingdom. The United States became a party to the Protocol on November 2, 2003, after many years of deliberations about acceding. The European Union became a party less than a year later, on October 1, 2004.

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