Intellectual Property

The Madrid System: Your Entrypoint to International Branding

Business expansion through global markets is now easier in today’s interconnected world. As one’s business, teeming with innovative ideas and solutions, is recognized globally, however, it runs an increasing risk of being exploited by brand copycats across the world, potentially cutting it down its profits and product reliability.  

International Registration of Trademark is crucial for: securing your rights in international markets, establishing and maintaining your brand’s identity globally, and enhancing the value of your brand and preventing unauthorized use.

Plans for business expansions should proactively come with preventive measures to ensure that your trademarks are infringement-proof. The Madrid System is the proverbial entry point for local brands to go international, protected wherever one does business.

What is the Madrid System

The Madrid System is a convenient cost-effective international trademark registration system that allows a single application in one member-country to be recognized in one-hundred thirty one (131) countries, representing 80% of world trade. In essence, an applicant may file a single international trademark application and pay one set of fees to apply for trademark protection in up to all covered countries, and modify, renew, or expand its global trademark portfolio through one centralized system.1

Who May File

For Philippine business entities, they may file an international application with the Intellectual Property Office the Philippines (“IPOPHL”), if they are: (1) a national, (2) domiciled in, or (3) have a real and effective industrial or commercial establishment in the Philippines. To file this international application, one should have a duly maintained local trademark registration or an active local trademark application with IPOPHL.2

What are the Steps for Registration

  1. Upon filing of the application, the IPOPHL shall examine and submit the application to the World Intellectual Property Organization (“WIPO”) for compliance to formal requirements. 
  2. WIPO shall issue a Certificate of Registration, an acknowledgement of compliance with WIPO’s formal requirements, and notify the designated member countries where applicant seek protection.
  3. The Official Intellectual Property Office of each designated Madrid System member- country performs substantive examination within a time-limit to grant or refuse protection.
  4. WIPO shall notify the applicant and update the International Register accordingly.
  5. Upon approval, the international trademark is protected in the chosen countries.3

That is all it takes to register your trademark internationally. To borrow an old adage, prevention is better than cure; and in the case of intellectual properties, registration is better than a case for infringement. So businesses who sets their sights on international markets, the Madrid System is their starting point. 

 Our firm has helped local businesses register under the Madrid system. Should you have any questions or concerns related to the Madrid System and international trademark registration, you may contact us.

Prepared by Jermile Salor.


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3. See: