The Protocol relating to the Madrid Agreement concerning the International Registration of Marks was adopted at Madrid on June 27, 1989. The Protocol, which entered into force on December 1, 1995, retains the basic features of the Madrid Agreement. As on July 15, 1999, 39 countries have acceded to the Protocol. The Protocol was formed to remove some of the features of the Madrid Agreement, which posed some obstacles to accession by several countries. These features are:
- For an international registration, it is essential to first register a mark at the national level. The time required for obtaining a mark at the national level varies from country to country. Hence some parties do suffer.
- Within one year, a designated member country has to examine and issue a notice of refusal by giving all the grounds for refusal. The period was considered short.
- A uniform fee is paid for the designation of a member country. This was found to be inappropriate for countries with high level of national fees.
- An international registration is linked to the basic registration during the initial five years and the former gets cancelled if latter is cancelled. The fact, that grounds under which a mark is cancelled in the country of origin need not necessarily exist in every other designated country, is overlooked.
- The only working language of the Madrid Agreement is French.