The Madrid Protocol is a global mechanism for registering trademarks outside one’s home country. It reduces the time, inconvenience and cost incurred by companies attempting to ensure international recognition and protection of their trademarks. In the 2016 budget, the Government of Sri Lanka, allocated LKR 100 million to speed up accession to the Madrid Protocol. This was a positive response to a long-standing request of Sri Lankan exporters. It will assist and encourage Sri Lankan exporters to invest in branding and trade-marks in their market strategy and growth.
This insight shows that the path to Madrid, and its benefits for Sri Lankan exporters, faces a singularly daunting pothole. That pothole is in Colombo, and is created by very low level of trademarks registered each year despite the increase in the number of applications and the extensive delays in processing applications by the public institution responsible for registering trademarks. A path to ‘Madrid’ is not enough, the pothole in Colombo needs a separate solution.