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India accedes to Madrid Protocol

After more than six years of preparation, India will complete its final accession to the Madrid Protocol on July 8

India is the 90th country to accede to the protocol, joining recent signatories Mexico, the Philippines and New Zealand.

The country's cabinet agreed to join Madrid back in February 2007, and India has been working to ensure that its trade mark system was prepared to meet all its obligations under the Protocol.

One major concern was application pendency periods. In an interview with Managing IP in May 2010, then controller of patents and trade marks PH Kurian said that India had reduced pendency times to 18 months, despite claims by some rights holders that applications often took two to three years. Practitioners told Managing IP that in the last two years, the IP office had made it a priority to clear out its backlog and to continue reducing pendency periods in preparation for Madrid.

Some of the newest members of the Protocol have faced challenges. Mexico’s lack of an opposition system is seen as a flaw, and domestic use of the Madrid Protocol has been low there. In the Philippines, the Intellectual Property Association of the Philippines has submitted a constitutional challenge, arguing that the changes in law made to comply with Madrid were improperly enacted, though the lawsuit has not stopped the accession.

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