Business Law

NEW PROCEDURE IN INTERNATIONAL TRADEMARK REGISTRATION APPLICATIONS: MADRID-E FILING SYSTEM

In the previous days, the Turkish Patent and Trademark Office announced that the Madrid E-filing (Electronic Application) system which is an online interface concerning international trademark registration applications is available. Thus, Turkey became a participant of the Madrid E-filing system as the fourteenth country. It is aimed to transmit the international trademark registration
applications made in line with the Madrid Protocol to World Intellectual Property Organization(“WIPO”) , which is endeavoring to promote and protect intellectual property (IP) across the world, in a much faster, and easier way by this system. In this letter, we will share some basic information regarding the operation and benefits of the aforementioned system.

WHAT IS THE MADRID PROTOCOL?
As it is known, in order to protect trademarks in other countries, the trademark owner must register her/his trademark in the country where she/he desires to be protected. The trademark registration in different countries can be carried out by applying to the country offices one by one. However, this is a difficult and toilful way. Pursuant to Madrid Protocol,which started to enforce in our country as of the date 01.01.1999, it is possible to obtain protection in multiple countries by one application and a minimum fee.

HOW TO APPLY FOR INTERNATIONAL TRADEMARK REGISTRATION VIA MADRID E-FILING SYSTEM?
The most important condition in order to apply for an international trademark registration via the Madrid E-Filing system is to have a valid trademark application or a registration in Turkey.
The application steps are as follows;

  • First of all, the WIPO notification fee of the international trademark application must be paid before the application process. Subsequently, the document relevant to the payment must be recorded on the E-filing screen.
  • Afterward, the applicant/attorneys must create a user account on the “Create WIPO Account” page.
  • They are required to complete the application process by filling MM2 form on the application screen they access via “WIPO IP PORTAL” page by such account information.
  • The application will be reviewed by WIPO after it is reviewed and approved by the Turkish Patent and Trademark Office (“TURKPATENT”).

It is important to note that the Madrid e-Filing service is a paperless, online filing and communication service. Prior to the Madrid E-filing system, applicants downloaded the MM2 form from WIPO’s website and submitted it to TURKPATENT after manually filling this form.

WHAT ARE THE FACILITIES OF THE MADRID E-FILING (ELECTRONIC APPLICATION) SYSTEM?

  • By means of automatically retrieving essential basic mark information, including the list of goods and services, any mistake related to such trademark information is prevented.
  • Since the application is not terminated by the system before the entrance of all necessary information, it is expected that there will be a decrease in irregularity decisions.
  • Applicants can receive and answer irregularity letters within the Madrid e-Filing application directly.
  • It is offered with various payment options, including all major debit and credit cards, Current Account at WIPO and PayPal.
  • Madrid e-Filing is a completely free service available to all interested national/regional IP Offices.
  • In addition to the Madrid E-Filing platform, WIPO offers user authentication, translation of the user interface and continuous technical support services.
  • The status of the files can be followed directly by the users via the WIPO IP Portal.

CONCLUSION
International trademark registration applications are digitalized by the Madrid E-filing system and it is aimed to make the aforementioned applications easier. In order for the Madrid E-filing application to become functional enough and to observe its effectiveness, office of origin applications will be accepted temporarily via EPATS as well. Applicants will be able to complete their international application procedures via the platform they choose (EPATS or Madrid E-filing). With the spread of Madrid E-filing system, we hope that it will be beneficial for applicants.

Feyza Gülseren

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