Achievements and New Perspectives
European Intellectual Property Institutes Network series
Edited by Christophe Geiger
Chapter 6: Evaluation of the functioning of the EU trademark system: the trademark Study
The EU trademark system in its current form came into existence in the mid-nineties of the last century. As is well-known, it consists of two tiers: the national trademark systems which were harmonized by the Trademark Directive (TMD) and the overarching regime established by the Community Trademark Regulation (CTMR). The Community Trademark (CTM) is a unitary right extending over the entire Community, while the national rights remain confined to their respective territories. Both regimes – the CTM system and national rights – coexist with each other. Due to the exclusive character of rights existing at the national or Community level, the systems are interdependent in the sense that all prior national marks (and other signs used in the course of trade) form obstacles for protection of subsequent CTMs, and all prior CTMs form obstacles to subsequent national marks.
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