Lesson 11: International Considerations
As with all forms of IP, trademarks are national in scope. In order to obtain trademark protection in every country in which you want to do business, you need to abide by the laws and practices of each jurisdiction, which can diverge quite significantly.
There are a few important international agreements that you should be aware of because these treaties assist in streamlining the administrative processes for multiple transnational registrations and providing uniform standards for classification of goods and services across borders.
One example is the Madrid System, in which there are currently 96 members, which provides a single examination process through WIPO. You can learn more about the Madrid System and its member countries here.
You will need to understand the advantages and disadvantages of each system and decide on your approach based on the markets you want to enter, the costs and benefits of registering, and the limits of each registration system.
While the Madrid System offers a “one-stop” streamlined registration process, it may also provide less flexibility than national trademark laws. For example, you may have difficulty transferring your trademark to a resident of a non-member country.