Gambia joins the Madrid Protocol 

The Gambia became the 96th member of the Madrid System on September 18, 2015, following deposit with the Director General of WIPO of its instrument of accession to the Madrid Protocol Relating to the Madrid Agreement Concerning the International Registration of Marks.

The release revealed that the Madrid Protocol will enter into force with respect to The Gambia, on December 18, 2015.

The World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO) has announced that the Republic of the Gambia (Gambia) has acceded to the Madrid Protocol on the international registration of trade marks.

The notification says that the Madrid Protocol will enter into force in The Gambia on 18 December 2015. This makes Gambia the 21st African country or regional organisation to join the Madrid Protocol.

Unlike several African member countries, Gambia has passed legislation which gives effect to its obligations in terms of the Madrid Protocol. International registrations that designate Gambia should therefore be enforceable.

Trade mark owners should be aware, though, that the Gambian Registry’s examination of applications is unlikely to be rigorous and that advertisement, for opposition purposes, will probably take longer than 18 months to occur after filing.

This will mean that international registrations, which have not been the subject of proper scrutiny, could become valid by default.

Although avoiding proper examination and opposition may be seen as something of a bonus for the company that applies for international registration, it could, in fact, be problematic.

That is because a third party threatened or in some way aggrieved by the international registration, might apply for its cancellation on the basis that it was wrongly registered.

Meanwhile the country membership of the organization will increased to 97 when Algeria joins the Madrid Protocol with effect from 31 October 2015.

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