What is an international trademark registration or trademark?

In principle one has to register a trademark country by country according to the national legislation of those countries.

The EUTM and the Benelux Trademark are important exceptions to this and offer a form of international protection, since both systems are governed by a fully-fledged trademark law system.

There is also an international trademark registration system called the ‘Madrid System’ (although its administration is located in Geneva). More than 120 countries are members, including many strong economic countries/regions such as the USA, Canada, Australia, China, Japan, Russia, India, Brazil and the European Union. However, this system cannot be compared with the Benelux and European systems as it is only aimed at simplifying the application procedure and the management of the registration. In terms of content, however, your trademark is exclusively subject to the national laws of the countries claimed.

By means of a single application procedure, one can apply for registration in several countries on the basis of a filing in one’s country of origin (for a Belgian company, a Benelux or EUTM). From the list of affiliated countries, you can choose à la carte in which countries you wish to apply for registration. The costs depend on which countries one chooses and on the number of countries.

Once the application has been submitted, it is split up and forwarded to the national administrations of each of the countries claimed. In accordance with the applicable national legislation, they will then decide whether or not to register your trademark. However, a refusal in one country does not affect the procedure in the other countries claimed.

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