concerning the Madrid Protocol
On 27 October 2003, the Council has adopted the necessary legislative
measures to establish the link between the Community trade mark and the Madrid
Protocol. These measures consist of
- a Council Decision approving the accession of the European Community to the Protocol Relating to the Madrid Agreement Concerning the International Registration of Marks, adopted at Madrid on 27 June 1989, and
- a Council Regulation modifying Council Regulation (EC) No 40/94 of 20 December 1993 on the Community trade mark to give effect to the accession of the European Community to the Protocol Relating to the Madrid Agreement Concerning the International Registration of Marks adopted at Madrid on 27 June 1989.
These two legislative texts have been published in the Official Journal of the European Communities No L 296 of 14.11.2003, p. 1, 22, and will also be made available in the Official Journal of the Office and on the Office's website (oami.europa.eu).
The original Commission proposal dates back from 1996 and after many years of negotiations it has now finally been possible to achieve a political consensus in the Council on these two measures. They will allow to designate the European Community in an international application under the Madrid Protocol and to obtain the same protection as a Community trade mark application and, if no refusal is pronounced, as a registered Community trade mark. They will also allow to base an international application under the Madrid Protocol on a Community trade mark application or registration as a basic mark.
The European Community has exercised the options to extend the period for notifying refusals to 18 months and to ask for an individual fee (cf. the declarations which are annexed to the Council Decision).
However, it is important to stress that these two legislative measures have not yet entered into force. The date of entry into force will be published at a later stage and it is expected that it will be in autumn 2004. In particular, the European Commission is preparing the necessary amendments to the Implementing Regulation and the Fees Regulation.
In the meantime the Office is pursuing its internal preparations for the adaptation of its internal procedures and in particular of its informatic system.
Once the date on which the Madrid Protocol enters into force for the European
Community will be known, the Office will provide more detailed and comprehensive
information. Further information may also be obtained from the Office's information
desk under firstname.lastname@example.org.
Wubbo de Boer