Trade Marks
Posted on 3/6/2024

Qatar has joined the Madrid System

Qatar will become one of the Middle Eastern countries that can be covered via a Madrid application.

On 3 May 2024, Qatar acceded to the Madrid Protocol, which together with the Madrid Agreement constitutes the Madrid System which provides the legal basis for the International system of trade mark filing, registration and maintenance.

The Madrid Protocol will come into force in the country on 3 August 2024, after which new applicants for international trade marks will be able to designate (seek protection in) Qatar, and owners of existing international trade mark registrations will be able to file ‘subsequent designations’ to seek to extend their protection to the country. Of course, the accession will also open the opportunity for Qatari entities to more efficiently obtain trade mark protection in the other 130 countries covered by the Madrid System.

The Madrid System allows applicants to obtain trade mark protection in multiple countries with the filing of a single international application. In most cases, this allows applicants to file at a lower cost in terms of time and money.  Although national IP offices still examine the trade mark in accordance with local law, the existence of a central international trade mark registration also produces efficiencies throughout the life of the registration, with renewal and administration of the trade mark being managed via the Madrid System’s governing body, WIPO.

For a trade mark holder who wishes to protect their trade mark in the Middle East, Qatar now stands alongside Bahrain, Oman and the UAE as countries in the region which can be covered via a Madrid application. As obtaining trade mark protection in the Middle East can be expensive relative to other countries around the world, any savings in cost and time that (most probably) arise as a result of Qatar’s Madrid accession will no doubt be appreciated by applicants.

Wilson Gunn operates through a trusted network of local associates worldwide. If you are interested in filing an international trade mark please contact one of our attorneys.

Wilson Gunn