It is possible to gain protection, via a single application, in countries that are member of the Madrid Protocol. This international agreement allows you to obtain protection in a large number of countries which is efficient and cost effective. An International trademark should be viewed as a package of national trademarks, obtained all at once and at a considerably lower price than if you were to file applications at each individual office. Over 80 countries including large economies such as the US, China, Japan and Europe, have now become members of these agreements. You can opt for protection in all participating countries or for a selection of them, and also for the entire EU, in a single application (see Community trademark via an International application). If within six months of filing one application you file an International application, you can claim the priority of your initial application for the International one.
An International trademark is registered by the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) in Geneva, Switzerland. More information is available at www.wipo.int. However, an International application must always be based on a basic application (for example a Sint Maarten trademark), and is therefore always handled by the office of origin. If a Sint Maarten trademark is used as the basic application, the office of origin will then be the BIP SXM. We will verify whether your International application is in order, and whether it is identical to your Sint Maarten basic registration. We will then forward your International application on to WIPO. Once you have completed the necessary forms, you can send or email them to our office. The fees payable, partly determined by the number of countries for which you would like to obtain protection, can be calculated here.
A disadvantage of International registration is that it is dependent on the basic registration for the first five years. However, if the basic registration is declared void, in most cases the International registration can be converted into national applications for the relevant countries.
The advantage of International registration is that objections (such as refusal or opposition) in a certain country will only affect the protection in that country. Another advantage of an International registration is the flexibility it offers. You can extend your protection to the relevant countries via a territorial extension, should you start operating in new markets (at a later stage), which will continue to include the entirety of your international protection in a single registration. This makes the administration of your trademark protection more efficient and cost-effective in the long term since you only need to renew one registration.
The biggest advantage of an International registration is that you can obtain protection in a large number of countries relatively fast and affordable, in comparison to individual applications. You will also be dealing with the organization that you already know, the BIP SXM. Our Office will be happy to provide you with further information!