Madrid Protocol

Jul 8, 2014

The Madrid Protocol

The Madrid System comprises of two treaties: The Madrid Agreement and the Madrid Protocol. These treaties deal with the international registrations of trademarks.  The Madrid Protocol is the successor of the Madrid Agreement.

In essence it is an international filing system which affords the applicant protection in several jurisdictions by filing a single application in a national office.  Cabinet gave its approval for Trinidad and Tobago to accede to the Madrid Protocol.

The Madrid Protocol:

  • Opens up for applications to be filed in any one of 3 languages as oppose to one through the normal route.
  • Financial savings: - Instead of having to pay separate filing and other fees; the applicant would now have to pay only one fee to the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) who decides the fee.
  • The process is simple:- It takes one application in one currency and in one language (English or French or Spanish) rather than having separate applications.
  • Less time is spent on following up applications in different countries; you can simply communicate with WIPO about the status of your application / applications.
  • A major advantage to the economy is that there would be more revenues coming into the economy and in essence more contribution would go towards the GDP of the country.





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Criminal penalties for Intellectual Property Rights Infringement


Maximum Penalty (TT Dollars)

Copyright and Related Rights incl. databases

$250,000.00 or ten years imprisonment (summary conviction)

Topography of Integrated Circuits

$10,000.00 or 5 years imprisonment (summary conviction)

Trade Mark (incl. company names represented in a special or particular manner)

$10,000.00 or 6 months imprisonment (summary conviction); $40,000.00 or 10 years imprisonment (indictment)

Industrial Design

$10,000.00 or ten years imprisonment (summary conviction)

Patent and Utility Model

$10,000.00 (summary conviction).

Falsification of patent register: $20,000.00 (summary conviction) or $40,000.00 or ten years imprisonment (indictment)

Geographical Indications

$8,000.00 or three years imprisonment (summary conviction)

Plant Variety

$10,000.00 (summary conviction)

Unauthorised claim of patent rights

$10,000.00 (summary conviction)

Unauthorised claim that a patent has been applied for

$10,000.00 (summary conviction)


The Copyright Infringement Ship

Piracy Ship

Click here to download image.



Piracy occurs when any of the copyright owner’s exclusive rights are violated.

Note 14 of the TRIPS Agreement on Trade Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (IPRs) provides the following interpretation:

(a) “counterfeit trademark goods” shall mean any goods, including packaging, bearing without authorization a trademark which is identical to the trademark validly registered in respect of such goods, or which cannot be distinguished in its essential aspects from such a trademark, and which thereby infringes the rights of the owner of the trademark in question under the law of the country of importation;

(b) “pirated copyright goods” shall mean any goods which are copies made without the consent of the right holder or person duly authorized by the right holder in the country of production and which are made directly or indirectly from an article where the making of that copy would have constituted an infringement of a copyright or a related right under the law of the country of importation.

The maximum penalty for copyright infringement is $250,000 or ten years imprisonment. The above pirate ship illustrates some common examples of piracy.