In a major development, the Government of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan acceded to the Madrid Protocol on February 24, 2021, making it the 108th member of the Madrid system which now covers 124 countries in total. Pakistan also becomes the fourth SAARC country to join the Madrid Protocol after India, Bhutan, and Afghanistan.

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The agreement which will enter into force on May 24, 2021 will permit the brand owners of Pakistan, be it Small to Medium-Sized Enterprises (SME’s) or international brands to protect their trademarks in the 123 member territories of the Madrid Protocol, by filing a single international application and paying a single set of fees at the WIPO (The system of trademark protection in Pakistan, how it works and the amendments to its Trade Mark Rules, prior to accession to Madrid Protocol can be read here and here). Likewise, the foreign brand owners and investors can also obtain trademark protection by designating Pakistan through the Madrid system. This will act as a boost to Pakistan’s growing economy since it not only incentivizes local brand owners but also attracts foreign investment into Pakistan by streamlining the brand protection process for foreign rights holders.

The Madrid system has recorded more than a million international trademark registrations since its inception in 1891. The system provides a convenient and cost-effective solution for trademark owners worldwide. It covers 123 territories, Trinidad and Tobago being the latest to accede (before Pakistan, of course). With Pakistan’s recent entry, the international IP system is only strengthened further.

If your business desires to gain trademark protection in Pakistan through the Madrid Protocol, you can do so from May 24, 2021.