An application to register an International Trademark can be filed designating one or more countries which adhere to the Madrid System. The so-called Madrid System derives from the unification of two different conventions (Madrid Accord and Madrid Protocol) and of the countries that signed them.
The international filing, which must be preceded by filing a registration application for a national trademark in one of the member states of the Accord or of the Protocol, is valid instead of the various national filings, and is effective in all the countries designated upon filing the application, and in any countries designated after the filing of the application (with different initial validity date of the exclusive rights).
The international trademark therefore generates a set of national trademarks in the designated countries having ten-year validity, indefinitely renewable. The possibility of designating different countries depends on the convention signed by the country of the original application for the national trademark.
Italy has signed both the Madrid Accord and the Madrid Protocol, so it is possible, commencing from a national registration, to extend the protection of the Italian trademark to all countries in the Madrid System, designating both those countries that adhere to the Madrid Accord and those countries that adhere to the Madrid Protocol.