The international trademark landscape across a vast quantity of systems, languages, laws and cultures can be somewhat intimidating to consider navigating.

Fortunately, a number of treaties and systems are in place to help you streamline your international trademark application and leverage the most value from your intellectual property in many of the countries in which you do business.

When used appropriately, these systems can be a HUGE time and cost-saver for companies who wish to file in more than one jurisdiction.

There are 3 key agreements that relate to international trademarks:

The oldest of these dates back more than 130 years. The Paris Convention of 1883 is the oldest and largest of these. There are currently 177 member states and this convention first provided the ability to claim an earlier filing date as a 'priority right', once it is filed within 6 months of your earlier filing in another member country.

The Madrid Agreement of 1891 has 55 member countries and along with the Madrid Protocol makes up the 'Madrid System' for the registration of international trademarks. The Madrid Protocol of 1989 has 98 parties. The World Intellectual Property Office (WIPO) is the portal for the administration of policies regarding and processing of international applications.