The Trade Marks Act, 1999 (TMA 1999) and the corresponding Trade Marks Rules, 2002 (TMR 2002) is the law that regulates trademarks registration and protection in India. Similarly, the law also prescribes a procedure for filing of a convention application under Indian trademark law.
At the international level, the international registration of trademarks under Madrid Agreement and Madrid Protocolare also possible. However, India is not a party to Madrid Agreement. This is the reason why the Madrid Protocol becomes important for India.
The Madrid Protocol was adopted to render the Madrid system more flexible and more compatible with the domestic legislations of certain countries which had not been able to accede to the Madrid Agreement. India is one such country that has not acceded to the Madrid Agreement. The two treaties are parallel and independent and States may adhere to either of them or to both.
The Madrid Agreement and Madrid Protocol and their applicability and implementation in India are still missing as India is neither a party to Madrid Agreement nor it has ratified or acceded to Madrid Protocol. Although India has enacted the Trademark (Amendment) Act, 2010 yet the same has not been notified so far. In the absence of the same, the proposed Act has no applicability in India.
However, some hints have been given by Indian government that Madrid Protocol may be implemented in India. If this is the intention of Indian government, both advantages and disadvantages of Madrid Protocol should be analysed in detail before acceding to the same.