Madrid System celebrates a milestone anniversary

1891 was the year basketball was created, American Express issued first travelers´ checks and Edison patented motion picture camera. However, the most significant date for intellectual property is April 14, 1891 as it marks the date the Madrid Agreement was adopted.

Madrid Agreement was the first international treaty concerning the implementation of receiving trademark protection in many countries. Back then, it had nine signatory countries and only a small number of registered trademarks. Dating from 1893, the oldest still active trademark belongs to Longines, a Swiss watch maker. Constantly changing to adapt the needs of the applicants, the biggest adjustment was the introduction of the Madrid Protocol in 1996. Presenting a number of changes in order to improve practicality and efficiency of the System, it soon became more popular than the original Agreement. The next significant amendment of the System occurred in 2015, with the incorporation of the Agreement and the Protocol into a single-treaty system.

Today, 125 years later, the Madrid System counts 97 member states (status: 29 April 2016) and covers 113 countries, with over a million registered trademarks. It requires only one application in one language and one fee, which is of major convenience for the applicant.

What the future holds for the System is crossing the 100 member state threshold, faster processing time and improvement of their E-services, leading to an easier and more efficient system.