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Commission proposes to link EC trademarks with WIPO international trademark system

On the initiative of Mr. Mario Monti, Commissioner for the single market, two proposals to link the Community trademark system with the international trademark registration system of the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) have been presented by the European Commis...
On the initiative of Mr. Mario Monti, Commissioner for the single market, two proposals to link the Community trademark system with the international trademark registration system of the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) have been presented by the European Commission.

The proposals would allow companies, by a single application, to obtain protection not only throughout the EU, but also in countries which are members of the Madrid Protocol on the international registration of trademarks (such as China). The first proposal relates to the accession of the Community to the Madrid Protocol and the second contains the necessary provisions to give effect to that accession through an amendment of Council Regulation No 40/94 on the Community trademark.

In addition to allowing Community firms to safeguard valuable trademarks with less bureaucracy, the proposals will encourage EC companies to trade with third countries in the knowledge that their trademarks are protected.

So far, nine states have become parties to the Madrid Protocol, namely China, Cuba, Denmark, Finland, Germany, Norway, Spain, Sweden and the United Kingdom. In addition, according to the EEA Agreement signed in Porto on 2 May 1992, all EEA Contracting Parties will adhere to the Madrid Protocol. The agreements concluded by the Community with the Central and East European countries, certain republics of the former USSR and other third countries also provide that these countries become members of the Protocol.

The Commission's proposals are now awaiting approval by the Council.
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