MAURITIUS: IMMINENTLY ABLE TO PROTECT TRADEMARKS IN LINE WITH THE MADRID SYSTEM
On 06 February 2023, the World Intellectual Property Organization announced that Mauritius has deposited its instrument of accession to the Madrid Protocol.
The Madrid Protocol, introduced on 01 April 1996, relates to the Madrid Agreement which concerns the International Registration of Marks. The Madrid System, which is governed by the Madrid Agreement and the Madrid Protocol, makes it possible for the owner of a trademark to protect that trademark in all countries that are contracting parties to the Madrid Protocol. They do this by obtaining an international registration that has effect in each of those countries.
The Madrid Union currently has 114 members, covering 130 countries including Kenya, Malawi, Rwanda, the United Arab Emirates, the United Kingdom, the United States, Zambia and Zimbabwe.
The convenience of the Madrid System lies in the submission of a single international application, in one language (English, French or Spanish) and the payment of a single set of fees to register and manage trademarks. Status of the application(s) can be tracked online.
As from 06 May 2023, the Madrid Protocol will come into full force in Mauritius, and owners of marks in Mauritius will be able to seek protection for their marks in any of the other 129 countries of the contracting parties of the Madrid Protocol.
It will also be possible for brand owners who use the Madrid System internationally to designate Mauritius at the time of filing their international applications.
In addition, it is expected that those users who are already holders of international registrations via the eMadrid online system will be able to include Mauritius, thus expanding the geographical scope of their protections.
Guidelines on how to apply in Mauritius are expected to be issued in the coming months.
This is a great development for Mauritian brand owners and redefines the landscape of intellectual property protection in the country.