The individual harmonised trade mark law of each Member State and the Community Trade Mark (CTM) system are designed to co-exist and work together. The Harmonising Directive
contains provisions that recognise CTM rights. Likewise, trade mark rights created by individual Member States are recognised in the CTM Regulation. Hence, the proposed project aims to define the relationship between the CTM and the national trademarks, as well as to investigate the mechanisms provided to reduce the conflicts which may arise between them, as much as the instruments which tend to promote the access to the CTM system. These are also problems concerning the interrelationship between the CTM system and the existing Madrid Arrangement. Threatened by the CTM system, the World Intellectual Property Organization, administrator of the Madrid Arrangement, promulgated a protocol (the Madrid Protocol) to create a deposit-type system that would eliminate the Madrid Arrangement's problematic features.
The Madrid Protocol provides a link between the Madrid Arrangement and the CTM system. In spite of these link, there is still discussion concerning the viability of a CTM and the need for the CTM system in addition to the Madrid Protocol. The investigation that I mean to accomplish aims to demonstrate that a perfect co-ordination between the refereed systems may be attained. This result should, then, have a notable influence upon the planification of the entire strategy of international protection of trademarks, both inside and outside the European Community
There is still discussion concerning the future viability of the CTM system. Yet, in our opinion, a righteous understanding of the co-ordination between the community system and the Madrid Protocol will show how the co-existing systems can be used to bring many choices for those who hold trade mark rights now in the EC member countries, and those who wish to hold such rights in future.