The Madrid Agreement was adopted on April 14, 1891 to facilitate protection of a trademark or service mark in several countries by means of a single international registration.
As on July 15, 1999, 54 countries are party to this Agreement mainly belonging to Europe, countries of Africa and four countries in the Far East namely, China, the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Mongolia and Vietnam. The United Kingdom, the United States of America, most Latin American countries, Japan and India are not signatories to this agreement. The Agreement covers both trademarks and service marks.
A trademark is a sign or mark that is used to distinguish the goods or services of one enterprise from those of another enterprise. It can be any distinctive word, letter, numeral, drawing, picture, shape, colour, sound, smell, logotypes, or any combination of these that may be used for distinguishing goods and services, of any given business.
A trademark is used extensively by an enterprise to reach customers by enabling customers to identify and locate the product. A trademark is issued by a national office and is granted for a period of 10 years and may be renewed indefinitely.