International registration is a one-off procedure which allows for registration in many different States which are parties to either the Madrid Arrangement or Madrid Protocol. As of 15th July 2014, there are 92 signatory States.
The States that can be designated through international registration are the following:
Albania, Algeria, Antigua and Barbuda, Armenia, Australia, Austria, Azerbaijan, Bahrain, Belarus, Belgium, Bhutan, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Botswana, Bulgaria, China, Colombia, Croatia, Cuba, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Democratic People's Republic of Korea, Denmark, Egypt, Estonia, European Community, Finland, France, Georgia, Germany, Ghana, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, India, Iran, Israel, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Kazakhstan, Kenya, Kyrgyzstan, Latvia, Lesotho, Liberia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Madagascar, Mexico, Republic of Moldova, Monaco, Mongolia, Montenegro, Morocco, Mozambique, Namibia, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Oman, Philippines, Poland, Portugal, Republic of Korea, Romania, Russian Federation, Rwanda, San Marino, Sao Tome and Principe, Serbia, Sierra Leone, Singapore, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sudan, Swaziland, Sweden, Switzerland, Syrian, Arab Republic, The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Tajikistan, Tunisia, Turkey, Turkmenistan, Ukraine, United Kingdom, United States of America, Uzbekistan, Vietnam, Zambia.
The international registration request must designate the States in which trademark protection is being sought.
When the registering party’s country of origin is a party to the Arrangement but not to the Protocol, only those States which are also parties to the Arrangement can be designated.
When the country of origin is a party to the Protocol but not to the Arrangement, only those States also party to the Protocol can be designated.
Finally, when the country of origin is a party to both the Arrangement and the Protocol, any other contracting party can be designated.
Since France has ratified both the Arrangement and the Protocol, all member states can therefore be designated in an international registration procedure.
Once the international registration has taken place, an evaluation is put in place according to the law of each State being designated. This evaluation can lead to either a total or partial acceptance or refusal of the registration.
The advantage of this procedure is that the trademark holder only has to file one document, in one office, in one language and pays a fee calculated according to the countries being designated. This procedure is often less onerous than processing several different national registration requests.
At the same time, an international registration procedure cannot be done so autonomously in the sense that it has to be done in support of a national trademark. It is important to know that the validity of an international trademark is subordinate to the national trademark for a period of five years. Thus, if the national trademark was to be cancelled or abandoned for whatever reason, the international registration would be considered as null and void in respect of the States designated for the international registration.