A New Era in International Trademark Registration: Turkey Brings the Madrid e-Filing Platform into Service

On November 19, 2021, the Turkish Patent and Trademark Office (“TURKPATENT”) announced that the Madrid e-Filing system, for which it has been adapting its infrastructure for some time, was finally in service. The Madrid e-Filing is a web solution enabling the submission of international trademark registration applications within the Madrid System to the World Intellectual Property Organization (“WIPO”) through an online interface. The platform offers a practical and time-saving alternative to the manual system, as it allows users to follow a fully digital and paperless process.

In this article, we highlight the key points of Madrid e-Filing service and the advantages of the system.

Facilities Offered by the Madrid e-Filing Service

Madrid e-Filing is an alternative to the existing manual international application process, offered by WIPO to all interested national/regional IP offices. It enables applicants and IP offices to conclude the international trademark registration process without any need for physical documentation. Accordingly, it reduces application processing times and minimizes the risks of irregularities in practice. Another advantage of the Madrid e-Filing system is that it makes the certification process much more efficient and quicker thanks to WIPO’s ‘Global Brand Database’.

The most significant change brought about by the Madrid e-Filing system is that the MM2 form, which was filled in manually and submitted to TURKPATENT via the Electronic Application System (“EPATS”), can be filled in through the online interface. All applicants intending to file an international trademark registration from Turkey will now be able to follow and conclude the procedure much more effortlessly and quickly thanks to the Madrid e-Filing system when compared to the manual application process.

The platform consists of two modules, the ‘Applicant Filing’ module, which replaces the manual MM2 form, and the ‘Office of Origin’ module, which can be customized for each national/regional IP office. Applicants can digitally fill in all the information requested of them through the online system. Upon receipt of the application, IP offices can electronically verify and approve the application, and send it directly to WIPO via the system. In brief, Madrid e-Filing is a practical solution that gives the opportunity to applicants, national/regional IP offices and WIPO to communicate through a single online platform.

With the Madrid e-Filing system, WIPO not only offers an online platform to manage international trademark applications, but it also provides services such as user authentication, technical support, and a customizable user interface available in any language. Finally, it should also be highlighted that the Madrid e-Filing system is a completely free service available to all interested national/regional IP offices.

Further Information

TURKPATENT introduced the features of the Madrid e-Filing system in detail to potential applicants and IP practitioners during a webinar held on November 24, 2021, following its announcement on November 19, 2021. Due to the high demand, an additional webinar is expected to be held in the upcoming days. You can follow TURKPATENT event announcements here.

There is also a ‘quick start’ guide prepared by WIPO providing instruction to national/regional IP offices who intend to implement the Madrid e-Filing system in their jurisdictions. For further details, you can access WIPO’s Madrid e-Filing system website here.

Conclusion

The IP world is one of the fastest-adapting environments to the technological transformation experienced worldwide in recent years. Aiming to facilitate easy filing of international trademark applications within the Madrid System and to satisfy the needs of local IP offices, WIPO has designed a web solution as a practical alternative to manual filing. Following its establishment, Benelux became the first region to adopt the Madrid e-Filing system in its jurisdiction. This was followed by countries such as Australia, Georgia, Austria, Lithuania, Estonia, Canada, Republic of Moldova, Iceland, Bulgaria, Norway, Iran, and Spain.[1] This year, Turkey announced that it has joined these countries. Thus, TURKPATENT is currently one of the 14 participating IP offices implementing the Madrid e-Filing service.

As a paperless, online filing and communication service, Madrid e-Filing encourages applicants to make international trademark applications as it eliminates the disadvantages of physical document management. In this respect, international trademark applications made from Turkey are likely to increase in 2022.

 

[1] WIPO, Madrid e-Filing: Participating IP offices, https://www.wipo.int/madrid/en/how_to/efile/offices.html