Madrid Protocol: A Guide to Benelux Region for UAE Brand Owners

Madrid Protocol is gaining more momentum in the UAE as it allows brand owners to protect their trademark in more than 125 countries through a single filing, in a single language and by paying only a single set of fees. However, to make the best of the Madrid Protocol, the UAE brand owners need to know the trademark laws, processes and procedures adopted by each designated member country or region. This becomes complicated as some members of the Protocol are grouped as regions such as the Benelux, EU and the African Intellectual Property Organization (OAPI).

In this blog, we will specifically discuss the trademark registration practices in the Benelux region when applied through the Madrid Protocol. Trademark agents in the UAE can help you further with registering a trademark in the Benelux region through Madrid Protocol. Read ahead to gain more insights:

Madrid Protocol: What is the Benelux Region?

The Benelux region under the Madrid Protocol comprises three countries: Belgium, The Netherlands and Luxembourg. These three members that form the Benelux group is effectively treated as a single country under the Madrid Protocol. Consult with trademark agents in the UAE to know more about the Benelux region member countries.

Can I Designate Each Country Separately?

While applying for trademark registration under the Madrid Protocol, you need to designate the country where you want to protect your trademarks. However, you can’t designate Netherlands, Luxembourg or Belgium separately while trying to register a worldwide trademark under the Madrid Protocol. You can only designate the ‘Benelux’ region collectively if you wish to protect your trademark in any of these countries. This is also advantageous for UAE brand owners as they can get trademark protection in three countries without filing separate applications or paying separate fees.

What is the Legal Framework for Trademark Rights in the Benelux Region?

There is no separate trademark law in the Netherlands, Belgium and Luxembourg. The trademark law for the Benelux region is governed by the Benelux Convention on Intellectual Property. The present version of the law has been entered into force on March 1st 2019. The Convention is in line with the EU Trademarks Directive (2015/2436, 16 December 2015) and shares some similarities with the latter.

Apart from the Madrid Agreement and Protocol, the Benelux region is a party to all the major treaties and agreements including the Paris Convention, the Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights, the Nice Agreement and the Locarno Agreement. The Benelux region has incorporated the EU IP Enforcement Directive (2004/48), which provides specific remedies for the infringement of trademark rights. Consult with trademark experts in the UAE to understand the Benelux IP legal framework better.

Madrid Protocol: What are the Potential Risks for Benelux?

Since individual protection in Belgium, Netherlands and Luxembourg are unavailable, you have the benefit of enjoying protection in three countries simultaneously through a single application. However, this benefit of registering an international trademark in the Benelux region comes with a risk.

The UAE brand owners may face a higher risk of facing trademark opposition in this way. Even if your business interest is in Belgium only, you should be prepared to deal with an opposition action from the other two countries in case conflicting trademarks exist in any of those countries. You need to widen your trademark search to the entire Benelux region to avoid potential risks associated with the region. Advice from trademark agents in the UAE can come in handy to avoid such risks.

Consult with the Best Trademark Agents in the UAE

Knowledge about the Madrid Union member regions and countries is essential before applying for international trademark registration under Madrid Protocol. Since the UAE brand owners may not be aware of the requirements of each member, it’s advisable to consult with the best trademark agents in Dubai such as Jitendra Intellectual Property (JIP). JIP has highly qualified agents who are well-versed in the national trademark laws as well as the Madrid Protocol registration requirements. Consult with us today to protect your trademark internationally without any hassle.

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