INTA Bulletin

June 15, 2011 Vol. 66 No. 11 Back to Bulletin Main Page

Colombian Congress Approves Madrid Protocol

On May 31, 2011, the Plenary of the House of Representatives of Colombia’s Congress approved Bill 163 for accession to the Madrid Protocol. The Senate approved Bill 061 last December, so the House’s action concludes the required legislative readings. Presidential sanction and Constitutional Court approval are still required before accession takes effect. INTA applauds the strong commitment of Colombia’s authorities and members of Congress to advance IP through legislation that will allow Colombia to become a member of the Madrid Protocol.

In securing congressional passage, INTA has been working closely with authorities and contributed its expertise at the time of public deliberations in the Senate. INTA members with subsidiaries in Colombia (Ideal Standards International BVBA, Leviton Manufacturing Co., Nestlé, Novartis Pharmaceutical, Perfetti, Red Bull and Thane International) wrote letters in support of the legislation last October. Close consultations have been maintained throughout the process with WIPO as the administering organization of the Protocol.

In a formal letter to INTA, Representative Eduardo Jose Castaneda Murillo stated “Colombia’s accession to the Madrid Protocol and its incorporation to our legal system entails having an adequate system that will be instrumental for the internationalization and expansion of Colombia’s trade abroad, and will lead the way to those abroad wanting to bring their products to our country.”

During the House hearings, Representative Castaneda had cited statistics showing that in 2010, 25,989 trademark applications were presented in Colombia of which 15,769 were made by residents of Colombia and 10,220 represented foreign applications. This translates to 60% national applications, following a period (1995-2001) in which foreign applications dominated. This trend demonstrates that Colombian entrepreneurs are increasingly aware of the importance of intangible assets in trade.

As other trading partners in Latin America join Colombia in recognizing the value of the Madrid Protocol for their own businesses and the value of trademarks on a global basis, they can be expected to follow Colombia’s lead and join the Madrid System.

For more information, contact Laura Cruz, INTA External Relations Manager for Latin America, at

Although every effort has been made to verify the accuracy of items in the INTA Bulletin, readers are urged to check independently on matters of specific concern or interest.

© 2011 International Trademark Association