The Trinidad and Tobago Intellectual Property Office (TTIPO) and the European Union Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO) launches Madrid Protocol Booklet “A Route to Global Branding for Entrepreneurs”- A guide for Trinidad and Tobago’s business community
This Booklet is launched today, in celebration of World IP Day, April 26th 2021, the theme for which is “IP and SMEs: Taking your ideas to market.” It is hoped that this Booklet can assist small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in Trinidad and Tobago on World IP Day and beyond to have a strong grasp over the Madrid System and its exponential benefits.
As of January 12, 2021, Trinidad and Tobago implements the Madrid Protocol, which gives national businesses the possibility to register their trade marks globally. Local brand owners in Trinidad and Tobago can now use the Madrid System to protect their trade marks in the 122 territories of the System’s other 106 members (including regions such as the European Union) by filing a single international application and paying a single set of fees.
Protecting your trade mark is crucial in international trade. Brands and trade marks are at the core of business competitiveness. A unique brand associated with your company helps to differentiate your goods and services from your competitor’s in a dynamic international market. The Madrid System is of particular interest to businesses that export products or plan to do so abroad. Getting international trade mark registration gives protection against misuse of a company’s trade marks.
The Madrid System is expanding and currently covers 123 countries. Trinidad and Tobago became the third Caribbean country to join the Madrid System, following Antigua and Barbuda (2000) and Cuba (1989). It is important to note that most of Trinidad and Tobago’s top trading partners, such as USA, Spain, Brazil, Mexico and China are members of the System.
This major step will facilitate foreign direct investment in Trinidad and Tobago and increase the ease of doing business for businesses from Trinidad and Tobago in international markets. In order to maximise these benefits, CarIPI (CARIFORUM Intellectual Property Rights and Innovation project), in cooperation with the Trinidad and Tobago Intellectual Property Office (TTIPO) have just launched the booklet, “The Madrid protocol – A Route to Global Branding for Entrepreneurs”. This key publication will guide entrepreneurs through international registration of their trade marks and serve as a reference document for companies who want to protect their brands in international markets.
This publication addresses trade within the context of CARIFORUM and the European Union and discusses how a central system for the management of trade marks work and the advantages of the Madrid Protocol. It also gives practical tips on how to register trade marks, and explains in simple language how the Madrid System works.
“The Madrid System, which represents approximately eighty percent (80%) of world trade, is the conduit for expansion into the international market for our local entrepreneurs, artistes, athletes and persons alike. In a similar vein, international trade mark owners interested in the local market can broaden their export horizons by designating Trinidad and Tobago to protect their marks. This legacy Booklet crafted by the EUIPO in cooperation with the TTIPO will provide the road map for charting the landscape of trade mark protection in Trinidad and Tobago through the Madrid Protocol,” stated Regan Asgarali, Controller of Trinidad and Tobago Intellectual Property Office (TTIPO).
“Becoming a member of the Madrid System, Trinidad and Tobago takes another major step to facilitate international trade in general, and to boost the implementation of the Economic Partnership Agreement between the EU and CARIFORUM in particular. The Madrid System, as well as the promotion of intellectual property rights, will have a positive impact on Caribbean economies. The CarIPI project fully supports this move. Working together with TTIPO, CarIPI will continue helping Trinidad and Tobago businesses to reach their full potential,” said Alexandra Mayr, CarIPI project leader.
Acting Head of Delegation for the EU Delegation to Trinidad and Tobago, Sanjin Soldatić stated: “After a difficult year with a significant slowdown of economic activity this was the opportune time for Trinidad and Tobago to join the Madrid Protocol. As companies are being encouraged to become more globally competitive, we hope the trademark protections and trade advantages will give local enterprises greater confidence to seek out business opportunities abroad, and so increase all important revenue streams for the country. With the roll out of the Innovation Programme and the CarIPI project we are pleased to support these efforts.”
CarIPI is an international cooperation project funded by the European Union and implemented by the European Union Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO). It was set up to strengthen the intellectual property rights environment in CARIFORUM as a means of fostering trade and investment and stimulating innovation and competitiveness in the private sector.
As the ‘innovation and intellectual property rights’ component of the CARIFORUM-EU Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) support programme, CarIPI aims to make a contribution towards achieving the commitments and expected benefits of the EPA, thus laying the ground for a sustainable long-term regional framework and cooperation in the field of intellectual property. The CarIPI project will run initially for four years from 1 November 2019.
The Intellectual Property Office of Trinidad and Tobago (TTIPO), Office of the Attorney General and Ministry of Legal Affairs has been in existence since its creation on 1st December, 1997 pursuant to Section 3 of the Patents Act Chapter 82:76. Throughout the years of its existence the TTIPO has assiduously worked to fulfil its statutory functions as well as position itself as a major institution, both regionally and locally, in the field of IP. The successes of the TTIPO are due to the hard work and dedication of past stalwarts of the TTIPO who have laid the foundation for the TTIPO to excel as well as the current staff of the TTIPO who have continued to execute the good work done by their predecessors.
The TTIPO remains poised to become a major player in the diversification of the economy. The IP System in the past has provided, and continues to provide the Government of Trinidad and Tobago with new streams of revenue from its usage and can facilitate the growth of the creative industries and Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises in Trinidad and Tobago.
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