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More breathing space for Madrid responses - good news from WIPO

For anyone who's ever been on the receiving end of a short-notice examination objection to a Madrid designation, there's some good news and some less-good news from WIPO. The Madrid regulations are being amended to include - amongst other things - provision for a minimum response term of two months. This is a vast improvement on the 14-day turnaround currently imposed by some overseas IP offices.

I am old enough to remember when WIPO notifications arrived on paper, not by email, even if the response deadline was just days away. There would be a terrible white-knuckle moment when the imminent deadline was discovered and an urgent plea dispatched (by fax) to local counsel “can we get an extension?” Much has changed for the better since then, but a fortnight is still cutting it extremely fine when you consider that the applicant's trade mark attorney or legal decision makers might not be immediately available to reply, and local advisers need to be appointed and instructed.

What's the less-good news? This change doesn't come into effect until February 2025, and overseas IP offices could take longer still to actually implement it - although from February 2025 WIPO will begin to challenge examination reports with a shorter response term. I can only wish that this stress-relieving change had come about much earlier in my career.

 Read more here.


Contracting Parties to provide holders of international registration with a minimum time limit of two months, or 60 consecutive calendar days, to file a request for review of, or an appeal against, or a response to the provisional refusal


brands & trade marks, yes