On February 19, 2013, Mexico will become the 89th member of the Madrid Protocol, streamlining the trademark registration process for U.S. trademark owners and others seeking trademark protection in Mexico. To date, trademark protection in Mexico (as with other non-Madrid Protocol countries, such as Canada) requires the use of local counsel to prosecute trademark applications.
Under the Madrid Protocol, the owners of trademarks in a member country may apply for protection in additional member countries through one filing with the World Intellectual Property Organization (“WIPO”). Filing with WIPO streamlines the prosecution process by allowing applicants to file one application, in one language, with one set of fees, and in one currency for registration in up to 89 countries. No longer will trademark applications seeking foreign protection for their trademark portfolio be required to incur the additional costs of separately filing in Mexico or using local counsel.