Madrid Protocol – The International Trade mark System

Africa, the world’s second largest continent with 59 territories and surrounding islands. A population in excess of one billion with a fast-growing consumer market of brand aware young Africans.

The continent will account for more than half of the global population growth between now and 2050. Nigeria’s population alone is said to double to 400 million+ by 2050 and it will have overtaken the US as the world’s third most inhabited country.


Africa presents great opportunities for brand owners but also challenges. Decisions made about filing strategies today could have consequences tomorrow. The Madrid Protocol offers the promise of a convenient route to trade mark protection via a single international registration.

There are currently 22 African jurisdictions that are party to the Madrid Protocol, but one size does not fit all. International registrations have varying levels of validity and effectiveness in these jurisdictions. In some, they are valid and enforceable, however, in those where adequate provisions for the Madrid Protocol have not been made in domestic law and practice, the validity of international registrations could be disputed, putting brand owners’ rights at risk.

Spoor & Fisher has over 100 years’ experience in protecting trade marks across Africa.

Together we can help you create a robust IP strategy.

Read more about – Trademarks in Africa