THE WHITE HOUSE
Office of the Press Secretary (Lisbon, Portugal) _________________________________________________________________________ For Immediate Release May 31, 2000 FACT SHEET U.S.-EU: Madrid Protocol on Trademark Registration
The U.S. and the EU have reached an agreement on procedures that will facilitate international trademark registration that will save hundreds of millions of dollars for U.S. companies and substantially reduce the time it will take for them to register their trademarks in European and other participating countries.
Under the Madrid Protocol (the Madrid Agreement Concerning the International Registration of Marks), companies will: -be able to obtain a single registration valid in all participating EU member countries and other participating states, with one renewal date, by filing one application (with the World Intellectual Property Organization -WIPO), with one fee, in one language; and - no longer be required to register trademarks in individual EU member states.
--The U.S. and the EU have also agreed on Protocol provisions for a fair and equitable voting formula under which participating states can make decisions related to implementation of the Protocol.
The cost savings of the Protocol are significant. For example, a U.S. trademark owner wishing to register a mark in ten different countries currently needs to file ten separate applications at a cost of at least $14,000. Under the Madrid Protocol, the total cost would be preset at about $4,700 -- a savings of more than 67% in total fees.
Companies will also save considerably on fees relating to amending trademark registrations (e.g. in the event of address change). Currently, a company with 1,000 trademark registrations in ten countries would need to file 10,000 amendment applications at a cost of several thousand dollars. Under the Protocol, the company will need file one amendment application with WIPO at a cost of about $100.
The protocol will also lead to greatly reduced waiting periods for processing of trademark registration applications. Currently, national applications can require up to four years processing time. Under the Protocol, members must act upon applications within eighteen months.
The President must submit the protocol to the U.S. Senate for there advise and consent prior to U.S. adherence to it.