Wednesday 12 August 2015

Algeria joins the Madrid Protocol

Algeria deposited its instrument of accession to the Madrid Protocol on 31 July 2015, and the Protocol is to enter into force for Algeria on 31 October 2015.

Algeria was the only one of the 95 current member States of the Madrid System that was a party to the Madrid Agreement alone.

The Madrid Agreement is much less streamlined and up to date than the Protocol. For instance, international filings have to be based on a granted trademark registration, and certain procedures can only be carried out through the home Office. Not only do these sticking points give rise to delays and complications, but the Agreement does not allow the designation of States that are parties only to the Protocol, which include such major jurisdictions as the OHIM, JPO, and USPTO. This has no doubt been a stumbling block for Algerian trademark owners, who up to now have not been able to use the Madrid System to extend their rights to members that are parties to the Protocol alone.

Although the Madrid System comprises the Agreement, the Protocol and the Common Regulations, since the amendment of article 9 sexies of the Protocol (the safeguard clause) it is the Protocol alone which applies between States bound by both the Agreement and the Protocol. The accession of Algeria therefore represents a milestone for the Madrid System, given that from 31 October 2015 all international registrations of marks will be governed exclusively by the Protocol and the system as a whole will, as a result, be greatly simplified.

Author: Cristina Arroyo

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