In the run-up to the establishment of a multi-judicial (or at least pan-European) Community brand, the relevance of the Madrid system has been tested. Pressure on WIPO to maintain its relevance and strengthens the agreement by increasing the number of members, possibly through amendments. This culminated in the introduction of the Madrid Protocol, which stated that a Community trademark could be a “foundation registration” or “original registration”, on which an international registration could then be made. This mechanism is called “interconnection determination.” The protocol was signed as a result of significant WIPO lobbying efforts by many countries, including most of the current members of the Madrid Agreement, and by some European Union member countries, but which were not members of the Madrid Agreement. The protocol came into force on December 1, 1995 and came into force on April 1, 1996. Compliance with the convention or protocol includes membership of the Madrid Union. As of June 2019,[update] there are 104 members from 120 countries. The original treaty has 55 members, all of which are equally parties to the protocol (when Algeria acceded to the Madrid Protocol on 31 October 2015, all members of the Madrid agreement were also members of the Madrid Protocol and many aspects of the Madrid agreement no longer have practical effect). The term “Union de Madrid” can be used to describe the legal systems that are parties to the agreement or protocol (or both).  The protocol has been in force since 1996 and has 100 members, making it more popular than the agreement, which has been in force for more than 110 years and has 55 members.
 The main reason why the protocol is more popular than the agreement is that the protocol has introduced a number of changes to the Madrid system that have greatly improved its usefulness for trademark holders. For example, it is possible, under the protocol, to obtain an international registration on the basis of a pending trademark application, so that a trademark holder can, simultaneously or immediately after, file an application in a Member State, effectively apply for an international registration.