In general, each nation decides the rules for registering a trademark and protecting the property rights of the owner of the mark within its borders. Jurisdictions typically based on geography decides the registration, administration, and rights offered by a trademark. Consequently, different parties in different countries can own a trademark. Thus, we recommend trademark owners follow all legal paths to secure their property rights and protect their marks under any separate local authority within which they conduct business.
Several countries have agreements that allow the registration of one application to apply across many jurisdictions. Aside from well-known economic alliances like the European Union and their European Union Trade Mark (EUTM), smaller associations like the Benelux Office for Intellectual Property exist covering just Belgium, Luxembourg, and the Netherlands. Well-established mutual commercial interests decide most of these trademark arrangements.
The Madrid System (composed of the Madrid Protocol and Madrid Agreement) is a filing arrangement that simplifies registration and management of trademarks through one single application. Similarly, organizations like the African Intellectual Property Organization and the African Regional Intellectual Property Organization protect a trademark owner's property rights in regions bound by a common language.