The Caribbean is Calling
As of February 24, 2023, Belize has officially joined the Madrid Protocol, becoming the 113th member of the system. This marks the fourth Commonwealth Caribbean nation and the third in three years to join, with the other members being Antigua and Barbuda (2000), Jamaica (2022), and Trinidad & Tobago (2021). Cuba is also a member from the Caribbean, while Curacao, Sint Maarten, the Caribbean Netherlands, and the French Caribbean jurisdictions are part of Madrid due to their status within the Kingdom of Netherlands and France.
Trademark protection is essential for every wine brand name, fanciful name and vineyard designation. Trademarks secure a wineries’ brand identity and help avoid infringement issues. However, obtaining international trademark rights can be a daunting task.
The Madrid Protocol provides a simplified and cost-effective solution for wineries to secure their trademark rights across multiple countries. By filing a single application with the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO), they can secure their trademark rights in numerous countries that are members of the treaty. The process is easier, faster and more cost-effective compared to traditional routes of filing trademark applications individually in each country saving on filing, translation and legal fees.
The Madrid Protocol provides flexibility for businesses to add or remove countries as required, and ensures that trademark rights are enforced uniformly across all member countries. This is particularly helpful for wineries that are expanding into new markets gradually or need to remove countries where they no longer wish to operate. By leveraging the benefits of the protocol, businesses can maintain the integrity of their brands, avoid infringement issues and increase their brand value.