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Mauritius: Now a member of the Madrid System

30 March 2023
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On 6 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 1 April 1996 is the protocol relating 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 the trademark in all countries which are contracting parties to the Madrid Protocol by obtaining an international registration that has effect in each of those countries. The Madrid Union has of date 114 members, covering 130 countries, including the United States, the United Kingdom, Kenya, Malawi, Rwanda, United Arab Emirates, Zambia, and Zimbabwe.

The convenience of the Madrid System lies in the submission of a single international application, in one language (the filing languages of the Madrid System are either English, French, or Spanish) and payment of a single set of fees to register and manage trademarks. The status of the application(s) can be tracked online.

As of 6 May 2023, the Madrid Protocol will come fully into force in Mauritius and owners of marks in Mauritius will be able to seek protection for their marks internationally in any of the other 129 countries of the contracting parties of the Madrid Protocol.

Furthermore, it will be possible for brand owners who use the Madrid System internationally to designate Mauritius at the time of filing their international applications. As for those users who are already holders of international registrations, via the online system of eMadrid, it is expected that they will have the possibility to include Mauritius. Thus, expanding the geographical scope of the protection. Guidelines on how to apply in Mauritius are expected to be issued in the coming months.

This is a great development for the Mauritian brand owners and redefines the landscape of Intellectual property protection in Mauritius.