The Madrid System, a convenient and cost-effective solution for registering and managing trademarks worldwide, welcomes a new participant to its list of signatory countries. Belize, a Caribbean country on the northeastern coast of Central America has deposited its instrument of accession to the Madrid Protocol on November 24, 2022 thus becoming the 113th member of the Madrid System. The Madrid System now covers a total of 129 countries through 113 member IP offices.
The Madrid Protocol will enter into force in Belize on February 24, 2023
After entering Madrid Protocol:
- Business owners having their address in Belize will be able to seek the protection of their trademarks in any of the 128 countries covered under Madrid System;
- New Applicants under the Madrid System will be able to designate Belize when filing their new international applications; and
- Existing Applicants of International Registrations will be able to expand the geographical protection of their existing registration by subsequently designating their applications in Belize and obtaining protection of their marks.
The fee for designating applications in Belize and other related information is yet to be released by the WIPO.
The country surely had an interesting journey with regard to the registration of trademarks that started from the publication of a Cautionary Notice for the protection of marks to allowing only marks registered with UKIPO to be allowed registration in Belize. Subsequently, in 2000, Belize enacted its own trademark legislation that repealed the UK Trademark legislation. Now, Belize has become a part of the Madrid System, thus opening doors for its national applicants to have their trademarks registered globally and manage the same with the help of a single application and a single set of fees.