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WIPO Registers 900,000th Mark

by Ulrika Lomas, for, Brussels

30 October 2006

The World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) announced last week that it had registered its 900,000th mark under the Madrid system for the international registration of trademarks.

At the current rate of growth, it is anticipated that the one millionth mark under the Madrid system will be reached in 2009. The 900,000 milestone was a trademark registered by a Chinese company seeking protection in ten countries on four continents.

According to WIPO, China, which became a member of the Madrid system in 1989, is now the eighth largest user of the system. Some 1,057 international applications were received by WIPO from Chinese users in the first nine months of 2006.

China is also the most designated country in international trademark applications, with more than 40% of the applications designating China.

The international trademark system administered by WIPO offers a trademark owner the possibility of having a mark protected in up to 77 countries and the European Community (EC) by filing one application, in one language (English, French or Spanish), with one set of fees, in one currency (Swiss Francs).

Applicants wishing to use the Madrid system must apply for trademark protection in a relevant national or regional trademark office before seeking international protection. Thereafter, the international registration can be maintained and renewed through a single procedure at WIPO.

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