The Madrid Protocol: Will This International System Succeed in the United States?


The Madrid Protocol, adopted in 1989, is an international system for the registration of marks. Currently, there are over sixty nations that are members of the Protocol, including the United States, which officially became a member in 2003. Beginning November 2, 2003, U.S. businesses were afforded the opportunity of applying for mark protection under the Protocol, yet this paper concludes there is no guarantee that the Protocol will be successful within the United States. This purpose of this paper is threefold: (1) to present an overview of the Madrid Protocol and detail the procedural requirements that make up the system, (2) to provide the reader with a historical account on the United States’ accession to this Protocol, taking time to outline the amendments made to the Lanham Act and analyze the various advantages and disadvantages to filing for protection under the Protocol, and (3) to foreshadow the possible impact the Protocol will have within the United States.

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