If you are exporting a product or service, or intend to, then you should consider seeking an international trade mark registration in the countries that you are doing business.
There is no such thing as a global trade mark, and registration of your mark in Australia does not provide you with protection overseas. Each country has its own unique trade mark laws and protection has to be sought independently in each country.
One of the ways an international trade mark may be filed is via the Madrid Protocol. The Protocol provides a system which allows trade mark applications to be filed in multiple member countries using the single Australian trade mark application which is forwarded to a central agency, the World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO).
In essence the Protocol provides a simplified application system allowing numerous member countries to be easily selected and thereby saving fees and organisational mishaps. However, the applied for trade mark will still need to be accepted under the national laws of each selected country. Only the formalities, fees and classification will be examined by the WIPO.
An Australian trade mark application may be used as the basis of an international application within 6 months of its filing date, and if so, the subsequent international applications will take the Australian mark’s priority date.
The Madrid application process allows for delayed payment of your international application as well as some additional time to ascertain your countries of interest.