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Colombia Joins WIPO's International Trademark System

by Ulrika Lomas,, Brussels

31 May 2012

Colombia has become the 87th member of the international trademark system following the deposit of its instrument of accession by its Vice President Angelino Garzón with World Intellectual Property Organization Director General Francis Gurry on May 29, 2012.

The Madrid System for the International Registration of Marks (Madrid System) is said to offer trademark owners a cost effective, user-friendly and streamlined means of protecting and managing their trademark portfolio internationally.

The treaty will enter into force with respect to Colombia on August 29 this year. Colombia is only the second country in the Latin American region to join the Madrid System, and becomes the third Spanish-speaking country and the first to accede since the introduction of Spanish as a working language of the Madrid system in 2004.

Gurry welcomed its accession as boding well for the system’s further expansion. “I am hopeful that other countries in the region will follow Colombia’s example,” he said, noting that “the greater the geographical coverage of the Madrid System, the greater the benefits it offers to brand owners the world over.”

Garzón added that joining the international trademark system is a positive development for Colombia. He commented: “We believe our accession to the Madrid System will indeed serve as a useful tool to promote our economic development, taking in consideration the multiple advantages it offers. This achievement has been possible thanks to the support of the Colombian private sector, which recognizes its benefits as an instrument to enhance the competitiveness of our enterprises, especially small and medium ones.”

The Madrid System is aimed at being equally attractive to large businesses, as to small and medium-sized enterprises, which are the largest users of the system. Despite challenging economic conditions, 2011 saw the highest number of international trademark applications ever filed under the Madrid System, with 42,270 applications, or a 6.5 % increase compared with 2010.

The Philippines recently acceded to the Madrid System and several countries - including India, Mexico and New Zealand - have completed domestic legislative processes to pave the way to accession.

TAGS: business | trademarks | India | intellectual property | Colombia | Mexico | Philippines | New Zealand | trade

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