International registration, respectively IR trademark

What is an IR trademark?

Starting from a German trademark, a European Union trademark or a corresponding trademark application, trademark protection can be extended to the member states of the Madrid System by way of an international registration (IR trademark). The scope of protection extends to the chosen states.

Maximum term of protection

With respect to the member states according to the Protocol Relating to the Madrid Agreement (PMMA), the term of protection is firstly 10 years. The term of protection can be extended by 10 years at a time without limit.

What can be protected?

All signs, in particular words inclusive of illustrations, letters, numbers, sounds as well as other getups inclusive of colors and color compositions serving the purpose of differentiating goods or services of different enterprises are eligible for protection.

How can an IR trademark be filed?

The request for the international registration has to be directed via the German Patent and Trademark Office or the European Union Intellectual Property Office to the World Intellection Property Organization (WIPO).

Examination procedure

Prior to the filing, the formal requirements are examined by the German Patent and Trademark Office (GPTO) or the European Union Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO). Then, the application is forwarded to the WIPO, where further formal registration requirements are examined. An examination with a view to earlier, conflicting protective rights is not carried out. Provided that the formal requirements are satisfied, the registration of the IR trademark is published. Then, the trademark is examined with respect to eligibility for protection in the designated states in the course of national procedures.