Thailand Joins the Madrid System

Recently, Thailand joined the Madrid System. If an entrepreneur files a trade-mark in a jurisdiction signatory to the Madrid System, that trade-mark will receive legal protection in other member states. Currently, there are 99 members of the Madrid System.

Thailand is one of several recent entities to join the Madrid System. Mexico became party in February 2013, New Zealand joined in December 2012 and the African Intellectual Property Office became party in March 2015. Closer to home, Canada plans to accede to the Madrid System and Bill C-31 has amended Canada’s trade-marks legislation to conform more closely to international standards.  There seems to be an effort to somewhat harmonize intellectual property policies.

Changes in intellectual property legislation are usually related to broader issues and this appears to be the case here. In May 2017, the Thai government said they would like to increase foreign investment in Eastern Thailand and make it a technology zone. An entrepreneur might be more likely to file a trade-mark in a jurisdiction that is party to a system that offers protection in multiple jurisdictions.

In the next coming years, it will be interesting to see the effect of Thailand becoming party to the Madrid System. Will it lead to economic growth? Will it lead to more patents filed in Thailand? Only time will tell.


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