How does the Madrid Protocol relate to United States trademark law?
The Madrid Protocol is a term used to describe the international treaty officially titled “Protocol Relating to the Madrid Agreement Concerning the International Registration of Marks”. This protocol is of particular interest to U.S. trademark holders because it now allows them to extend their registration to countries that have joined the Madrid Protocol. When a U.S. trademark holder files a single application, aptly called the “International Application”, they extend their trademark protection to cover 74 countries (as of November 2007). Note however, trademark protection that extends to a country that is part of the Madrid Protocol is not governed by U.S. trademark law, but will instead use that particular country’s own laws to determine whether or not a mark is protected within their jurisdiction.
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Dr. Thomas R. (Terry) Williamson III is a Patent Attorney practicing in Atlanta, Georgia.
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