It has been anticipated for some time now, but finally Madrid Protocol membership has increased to 90 members with the accession of India.
It will be possible to designate India in an International application from 8 July 2013.
The Indian Trade Marks Registry has made commendable efforts in recent years to reduce its examination backlog so they would be in a position to meet the 18-month examination period for Madrid Protocol designations.
Whether they remain well equipped to handle an increase of examinations which should follow when it can become designated in an International application may remain to be seen. It will be important that examination of Indian national applications is not delayed because Madrid Protocol designations must take priority. Otherwise the attractiveness of the Madrid Protocol will diminish for Indian trade mark owners as its high number of oppositions would mean Central Attack could be a problem.
The Madrid Protocol already covers most of the West (with the notable exception of Canada) and the emerging markets of Eastern Europe. The joining of India adds another major newly industrialized country to the selection of countries available following on from the accession of Mexico and the Philippines last year. With China and Turkey already on board and Thailand expected to one of the next joiners, the Madrid Protocol continues to grow and grow.