New York, NY – August 5, 2003

On August 2, 2003 the United States deposited its instrument of accession to the Madrid Protocol with the World Intellectual Property Organization in Geneva. This action signals its official membership to the treaty. The U.S. membership will take effect three months after the deposit, on November 2, 2003, to allow time for other treaty members to prepare for the acceptance of Madrid applications both to and from the United States.

“This is a great day for trademark owners,” says Kathryn Barrett Park, the president of the International Trademark Association (INTA). “For more than a decade, INTA has worked tirelessly to overcome obstacles to U.S. membership. Trademark owners will now have the option to use the International Registration system to protect their trademarks in all of the 59 Madrid Protocol-member countries with only one application, in one language and with one set of fees in a single currency.”

The Madrid Protocol is a treaty that facilitates the international registration of trademarks. On October 17, 2002, the U.S. Senate approved an advice and consent resolution paving the way for final action on legislation to implement the treaty, which was signed into law on November 2, 2002. Since then, the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) has sought comment on draft rules for the filing and processing of Madrid applications. Final rules are expected to be released in the near future. With the deposit of the accession documents, the USPTO will begin accepting Madrid applications on November 2, 2003.

For more information about the Madrid Protocol, visit www.inta.org/madrid, or call INTA Public Affairs at +1 212-642-1749.