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Office of the Press Secretary

For Immediate Release September 5, 2000


I transmit herewith, for the advice and consent of the Senate to accession, the Protocol Relating to the Madrid Agreement Concerning the International Registration of Marks adopted at Madrid June 27, 1989, which entered into force December 1, 1995. Also transmitted for the information of the Senate are the report of the Department of State with respect to the Protocol and a February 2, 2000, letter from the Council of the European Union regarding voting within the Assembly established under the Protocol.

The Protocol will offer several major advantages to U.S. trademark owners. First, registration of trademarks inter-nationally will be possible without obtaining a local agent and without filing an application in each Contracting Party. If the United States accedes to the Protocol, the Protocol will provide a trademark registration filing system that will permit a U.S. trademark owner to file for registration in any number of Contracting Parties by filing a single standardized application in English, and with a single payment in dollars, at the United States Patent and Trademark Office (PTO). The PTO will forward the application to the International Bureau of the World Intellectual Property Organization (respectively, the "International Bureau" and WIPO), which administers the Protocol. Second, under the Protocol, renewal of a trademark registration in each Contracting Party may be made by filing a single request with a single payment. These two advantages should make access to international protection of trademarks more readily available to both large and small U.S. businesses.

Third, the Protocol will facilitate the recording internationally of a change of ownership of a mark with a single filing. United States businesses experience difficulties effecting valid assignments of their marks internationally due to burdensome administrative requirements for recordation of an assignment in many countries. These difficulties can hinder the normal transfer of business assets. The Protocol will permit the holder of an international registration to record the assignment of a trademark in all designated Contracting Parties upon the filing of a single request with the International Bureau, accompanied by a single payment. To carry out the provisions of the Protocol, identical implementing legislation, which is supported by my Administration, was passed by the House of Representatives and introduced in the Senate.

Accession to the Protocol is in the best interests of the United States. Therefore, I recommend the Senate give early and favorable consideration to the Protocol and give its advice and consent to accession, subject to the declarations described in the accompanying report of the Department of State.


                              THE WHITE HOUSE,
                              September 5, 2000.

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