In a much-waited for development, the Israel Patent and Trademark Office has announced that Israel is to implement the Madrid Protocol.
On 31 May 2010, Frances Gurry, Director of WIPO will pay an official visit to Israel and formally announce Israel’s ascendency to the Protocol. Implemented will take place some 3 months later on 1 September 2010.
The protocol will enable Israeli firms to file trademarks in Israel, and barring oppositions, get a decision as to registerability within 12 months. Using local representation, Israeli firms will be able to extend protection to some or all of the 67 other member a vastly reduced cost, making export to the global market place more attractive.
It will likewise become easier for foreign entities to register marks in Israel.
The Knesset amended the Trademark Ordinance to facilitate joining the Madrid Protocol back in 2007. However, implementation was held up due to problems with computerization of the Trademark Examination Department and associated difficulties in meeting the tough deadlines.
These problems were gradually ironed out due to tremendous work by the dedicated and capable trademark examiners lead by Nurit Maoz.
Dr. Meir Noam – the Commissioner of Patents, Ms. Nurit Maoz, Head of the Trademark Department, Ms Lee Maor – Head of the Israel Desk at WIPO, and the other people who finally brought this to fruition are all to be congratulated for this achievement, and we hope and trust that there are no more hiccups in implementation.