The Department of Intellectual Property in collaboration with the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) organized a three-day training on the Madrid System for International Registration of Marks for the officials (Trademark Examiners) of the Department from 03-05 March 2020 in Thimphu. Bhutan became a member to the Madrid Agreement Concerning the International Registration of Marks and the Protocol Relating to the Madrid Agreement in 2000. This Madrid System is a convenient and cost-effective solution for registering and managing trademarks internationally in its 122-member countries. Unlike the National Filing System, the Madrid System allows for filing a single application with payment of one set of fees to apply for trademark registration in multiple Madrid member countries.
Lately, with the continuous awareness created by the Department and also with the growth in the export-oriented enterprises, the office has been receiving inquiries and interest from business firms and individuals for international filing of their trademarks for protection abroad using the Madrid System, considering its multiple benefits. And, with this recent interest shown by local businesses, the Department is in the process of enhancing its inhouse capacity to carry out the international registration procedure efficiently in line with the international system.
The three-day training focused on the operational and procedural aspects involved in registering the Bhutanese Trademarks abroad, particularly in their existing and potential export markets. On the first day some interested local enterprises were also invited to provide an overview of the Madrid Filing System for better understanding by the potential beneficiaries.
As of 2019, a total of 14,132 nos. of foreign trademark applications have been received for protection in Bhutan through the Madrid System. And, by 2018, a total of Nu. 99.2 million revenue has been generated which includes CHF (Swiss Franc) 1.84 million through collections from Madrid filing fees for the foreign trademarks filed in Bhutan. On an average, a revenue of more than Nu. 10 million is being generated annually by the Department through Madrid filing fees.
The training is jointly funded by the WIPO and Japan Funds in Trust for developing countries. Mr. Masatoshi Otsuka, Associate Officer, Madrid Information and Promotion Division and Mr. Yugan Sasaki, Dy. Director, IP Department, Japan External Trade Organization (JETRO) were the resource persons.