The Madrid System

International Trademark Registration

Everything you need to know about the Madrid System

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What is the Madrid System?

The Madrid System is a convenient and cost-effective solution for national or regional trademark holders to obtain and maintain protection of their brands in multiple markets simultaneously, by filing a single application for an international trademark registration. The World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO), in Geneva, Switzerland, administers the Madrid System. Antigua and Barbuda joined the Madrid System in March 2000.

What are the advantages of the Madrid System?

The Madrid System is:

Convenient

You file one application for an international trademark registration in one language and pay one set of fees in one currency (Swiss francs), to register your trademark in multiple territories. You can then centrally manage your international trademark registration – expand or renounce protection, change ownership, renew your registrations, and more – online, directly through WIPO. 

Global

You can seek protection of your trademark in all or any of the Madrid System’s Members, representing over 80% of world trade. 

Cost-effective

You save time and money by filing one application for an international trademark registration, rather than a bundle of national or regional trademark applications. You do not need to pay for translations or hire a representative to file your application in each country.

How Does The Madrid System Work

The international trademark registration process comprises three stages:

Stage 1 – File (ABIPCO)

Before you can file an application for an international trademark registration, you must already have – or have applied for – a national trademark registration (known as a “basic mark”) with ABIPCO. You can then use your “basic mark” to file an application for an international trademark registration – seeking protection of your mark in multiple territories simultaneously – through ABIPCO. We will certify it and send it to WIPO.

Stage 2 – Formal examination (WIPO)

WIPO checks that your international trademark application complies with all formal requirements (contact details, quality of images, payment of fees, etc.). 

Once approved, WIPO records your trademark in the International Register and publishes it in the WIPO Gazette of International Marks. WIPO will then send you a Certificate of Registration – acknowledgement of compliance with WIPO’s formal requirements – and notify the intellectual property (IP) Offices of all the Madrid System Members where you are seeking protection of their designation.

Stage 3 – Substantive examination (national and regional IP Offices) 

The IP Office of each Madrid System Member where you are seeking protection will perform substantive examination of your trademark. Each Office must grant or refuse protection in their territory within a given time limit (12, or in some cases 18, months from the date on which WIPO notified them of their designation). They will send their decisions to WIPO who will notify you and update the International Register accordingly.

Find out more about filing international trademark applications.

Can I use the Madrid System?

If you are a national of – or have a domicile or business in – Antigua and Barbuda, you can use the Madrid System. 

Reminder! Before you can file an application for an international trademark registration, you must already have – or have applied for – a national trademark registration with ABIPCO.

What is eMadrid?

eMadrid is your digital gateway to international trademark protection. It provides you with centralized and secure self-service access to all the Madrid System’s online services and tools. You can use eMadrid to prepare your application for an international trademark registration, and later to monitor and manage your registration.  

Tip! You need to create a WIPO Account to use the online services available under eMadrid.

How do I file an international application through the Madrid System?

You should use the “Application Assistant” under eMadrid to prepare your application for an international trademark registration. 

Reminder! You need a WIPO Account to use the services available under eMadrid.

Once completed, you can download your application in PDF format and send it to us for certification.

How to use the Madrid Application Assistant

  • Go to eMadrid and select ‘Prepare your application’;
  • Enter ‘Antigua and Barbuda’ in the ‘Search your Office of origin’ box;
  • Click on the blue button ‘Get started with the Madrid Application Assistant’; 
  • Enter your WIPO Account username and password;
  • Click on ‘New application’;
  • Select ‘Antigua and Barbuda’ from the drop-down list of Offices; and
  • Click on ‘Add basic application or registration’.

You need to check that all the information is correct, and where necessary adjust or add any missing details such as your email address, representative details, etc.

Important! Don’t forget to designate the countries/regions where you seek international protection of your trademark, and if necessary, modify the list of goods and services. The scope of protection of your international trademark registration can be narrower, but not broader. If you want to obtain international protection in additional classes of goods and services, you will need first to file a new national application through ABIPCO!

How long is an international trademark registration valid for?

An international trademark registration is valid for 10 years and is renewable indefinitely. You can renew it either when the 10-year term expires, or within the six-month grace period following its expiry. 

Warning! Additional fees apply if you renew your registration during the grace period. 

The simplest way to renew your international trademark registration is through eMadrid.

How much does an international trademark registration cost?

Tip! You can use the Fee Calculator available under eMadrid to estimate the cost of filing an application, extending protection to other Madrid System Members, and renewing an international trademark registration!

Fees include a handling charge and a separate set of fees payable to WIPO (in Swiss francs (CHF)), including: 

  • A basic fee (653 CHF for a black/white reproduction; 903 CHF for a mark in color); and
  • Additional fees depending on where, and in how many classes of goods and services, you want to protect your mark:

Standard fees include:

  • A complementary fee: 100 CHF per designated Madrid System Member; and
  • A supplementary fee: 100 CHF for each class of goods and services, in excess of three.

An individual fee replaces the “complementary fee” in certain Madrid System Members. Find out more about individual fees

For an overview of basic, complementary, and supplementary fees, refer to the Schedule of Fees. Find out more about Madrid System fees and payment methods

Important! WIPO cannot record your international trademark registration unless you have paid all the necessary fees. If you do not pay your fees in full, WIPO will send you an irregularity notice. If you do not pay within the given time limit, your application is abandoned.

How can I find out more about the laws and practices of Madrid System Members?

The Madrid System Member Profiles available under eMadrid provide a wide range of information on the laws, practices, and procedures of all Madrid System Members.

How do I classify the goods and services in my international application?

When you prepare your application for an international trademark registration using the Madrid Application Assistant available under eMadrid, the list of goods and services covered by your national trademark application or registration will automatically be imported into your international application (refer to question 6 for more information on filing). 

You can adjust the goods and services to be narrower in your international trademark application but not broader

If you wish to broaden the list of goods and services covered by your international trademark registration, you must first submit a new national application through ABIPCO.

Tip! Using the Madrid Goods & Services Manager available under eMadrid, you can select from hundreds of thousands of terms to:

  • build your list of goods and services; and
  • check whether the IP Offices of the Madrid System Members where you seek protection will accept or reject a term, saving you time and money!

Can I manage my international trademark registration through eMadrid?

Yes! You can use eMadrid to:

  • track the status of your international trademark application and registration;
  • expand protection to other Madrid System Members;
  • limit the list of goods and services;
  • renounce protection;
  • manage your representatives;
  • change contact details;
  • change ownership;
  • fix an error in the International Register;
  • renew your international registration;
  • pay fees;
  • submit forms;
  • and more. 

Find out more about managing international trademark registrations.

Why should I search for identical or similar trademarks before I file an application for an international trademark registration?

Searching for existing and pending trademarks in your target markets will help you to uncover trademarks that are similar or identical to yours, and therefore to make an informed decision about your international trademark application strategy. 

Warning! If your trademark infringes on the rights of another person or company, you may not be able to register it.

You can use WIPO’s Global Brand Database to search through millions of records from multiple national and international databases.

How can I check the status of my international trademark application/registration?

You can use “Monitor your registration” under eMadrid to track the status of your international trademark application in real-time as it moves through WIPO’s examination process. 

Once WIPO has registered your application, you can find out whether the Madrid System Members where you seek protection of your mark have granted or refused protection in your target markets using the “Designation Status. 

If the status of protection is “Protection Granted”, you can directly download a PDF document showing a status summary. If you need something more official, you can quickly order a certified document!

How can I keep up to date with Madrid System news?

You can sign up to receive email alerts on all the latest updates and developments in the Madrid System.