Carlo Cotrone


The Madrid Agreement enables trademark owners in signatory countries to secure international trademark registration by filing one application instead of filing separate applications in each foreign country's trademark office. The United States has never acceded to the Agreement because critics have held that the Agreement favors registration-based trademark systems rather than the use-based system found in the United States. Accordingly, the Madrid Protocol was drafted to address the United States' objections to the Agreement and to provide an international registration vehicle for countries that declined to participate Agreement. In this article, the author examines the Madrid Agreement, compares the Agreement to the Protocol, and determines that the Protocol is a more viable option for United States trademark applicants. However, the author explains that the likely benefits of the yet to be enacted Madrid Protocol have been exaggerated by its proponents. The author also discusses fundamental flaws in the Protocol and proposes an alternative international registration scheme to overcome these defects. Ultimately, the author concludes that the United States should accede to the Protocol because, despite the flaws, enactment of the protocol would aid in the creation and implementation of an improved international trademark registration system.