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Ireland (IE)

Mar 19, 2020 (Newsletter Issue 4/20)
Name of Patents Office Changed
On December 2, 2019, the Patents Office changed its name to the "Intellectual Property Office of Ireland” (IPOI).


Apr 24, 2019
IP Office Will Not Accept Division or Merger Requests of Intl. Registration
Ireland has notified WIPO in accordance with new Rules 27ter(2)(b) and 40(6) of the Common Regulations, which entered into force on February 1, 2019.

According to the said notification:
- new Rule 27bis(1) of the Common Regulations, providing for the possibility to file a request for division, is not compatible with the law of the Contracting Party and does not apply to it; and,
- the law of the Contracting Party does not provide for the merger of registrations of a mark.

As a result, the Office will not present to WIPO requests for the division of an international registration under new Rule 27bis(1) nor requests for the merger of international registrations resulting from division under new Rule 27ter(2)(a).

For further information, please refer to here


Jan 31, 2019 (Newsletter Issue 1/19)
Trademark Law Amended
The Irish Patents Office informed that the amendments of the Irish Trade Mark Law, implementing the EU Directive 2015/2436, came into force as of January 14, 2019. It removes the graphical representation requirement for a trademark to be registrable.

Some other changes can be seen below:

Absolute grounds from opposition porceedings
Oppositions can now only be based on relative grounds

Additional absolute grounds
The list of signs excluded from registration has been extended.
Also, trademarks will be refused registration if their use is prohibited by any enactment or provision that safeguards Protected Designations of Origin (PDOs), Protected Geographical Indications (PGIs), traditional terms for wine and traditional specialties guaranteed, and prior plant varieties.

Goods in transit
Infringing/counterfeit goods which are “in transit” but not intended for free circulation in Ireland can be detained by Customs.

Division of registrations
Possibility to divide a registered trade mark into two or more separate registrations.

Expansion of anti-counterfeiting measures including preparatory acts
A wider range of counterfeiting activities will now be considered to be acts of trademark infringement.

A non-exclusive licensee may bring proceedings for infringement of the trademark only with the consent of the proprietor. However, the holder of an exclusive licence may bring infringement proceedings if the proprietor of the trade mark, after formal notice, does not bring infringement proceedings within an appropriate period.
A licensee will now have a right to intervene in infringement proceedings brought by the proprietor of the trade mark in order to seek compensation/damages.

Please note that the amendments have been included and the Irish survey has been updated thanks to our contributor Tomkins & Co, Irland.


Mar 29, 2018 (Newsletter Issue 6/18)
Irish Domain Rules Changed
The .ie ccTLD registration process has been liberalised. Before there were very restrictive policies governing eligibility for registration.

As of March 21, 2018, the eligibility rules for the registration of domain names in this ccTLD have been relaxed, making the registration of the .ie domain name much easier. Most rules have been deleted, but it is still necessary to provide evidence of a clear nexus with Ireland and its own identity. Domains are now allocated on a first come, first served basis.


Sep 28, 2016 (Newsletter Issue 17/16)
Expansion of Online Payments Facility
The Irish Patents Office announced the expansion of their online payments facility. This new development will facilitate the online payment of all national Trade Mark and Design fee types together with the filing of related documents.

The previous fee payment functionality was confined to online payment of renewal, grant and registration fees. The new online facility expands the range of fee types that can be paid online to include all national Trade Mark and Design fee types. In addition, all documentation associated with a particular fee type can be submitted via this new development.


Jan 20, 2016 (Newsletter Issue 1/16)
Accession to Singapore Treaty
WIPO notifies the deposit by the Government of Ireland on December 21, 2015, of its instrument of accession to the Singapore Treaty on the Law of Trademarks, adopted at Singapore on March 27, 2006.

The Treaty will enter into force on March 21, 2016.


Jan 20, 2016 (Newsletter Issue 1/16)
E-filing for Designs Implemented
As of December 11, 2015, the Irish Patents Office implemented e-filing for designs.


Jun 10, 2014 (Newsletter Issue 9/14)
E-Filing Now Available
The Irish Patents Office announced the launch of their new Trade Mark e-filing facility since 8 April 2014.

This is the latest addition to the suite of interactive online services which already facilitates online searching of national patent and trade mark databases and registers, links which facilitate quick searching of European patent and trade mark registers and databases of the EPO, OHIM and WIPO and includes online searching of the Office’s Official Journal and online payment of a range of statutory fees.

The introduction of electronic filing of trade mark applications will make for greater efficiency on the part of applicants for trade mark registration and will facilitate a speedier and more effective paperless processing of applications by the Office.

The Office’s new e-filing system introduces an easy to navigate application form and makes provision for the uploading of figurative marks in Jpeg format. The e-filing functionality also facilitates the electronic payment of the trade mark application fee by credit or debit card.

Automatic error checking helps ensure that users input the correct data, a fee counter provides information on the cost of the application and the submission process is straightforward and results in an online confirmation receipt that includes a provisionsal application number which can be printed or saved. In addition the TMclass classification tool has been integrated into the ‘Goods and Services’ section of the online application form. This feature allows trade mark applicants to choose pre-approved terms of goods and services which are acceptable to the Office and will further streamline the examination process.

The e-filing system can be accessed here.


Feb 21, 2012 (Newsletter Issue 3/12)
Official Fees Amended
The Irish Patents Office has amended a number of changes to the fees of Trademarks, Patens and Desgins effective on February 1, 2012.

It introduced a fee of EUR 50 for the registration of a series of trademarks in a single registration, for each trademark in excess of two trademarks contained in the application.

For more information, please click here


Dec 01, 2011 (Newsletter Issue 14/11)
Change of Practice in Honest Concurrent Use
The Irish Patents Office has announced a change of practice regarding honest concurrent use which will come into effect on 1 December, 2011.

The Office has suspended its former practice of automatically refusing honest concurrent use based trademark applications where a subsequent opposition from the holder of the earlier trademark was received.

In the future, the Controller will consider each of these opposition cases based on various factors that are defined in the new procedure. The new procedure can be seen here here


Apr 28, 2011 (Newsletter Issue 7/11)
Change of Office Practice in Opposition Proceedings
The Irish Patents Office has suspended its practice of automatically refusing an application for registration, following the opposition thereto from the proprietor of an earlier mark, against which the Applicant claimed there has been honest concurrent use of the trademark for which registration was sought.

This suspension will continue until a consultative exercise regarding the interpretation and administration of the relevant legislation is concluded.

The effect of the suspension will be that all oppositions will now proceed on the basis of Rules 18 to 25 of the Trade Mark Rules 1996, as amended.


Oct 01, 2010 (Newsletter Issue 15/10)
New Trademark Rules
Ireland's new Trade Marks (Amendment) Rules 2010 came into effect on October 4th, 2010. They will modernise trade mark proceedings before the Patents Office in several ways. In particular,
- a new procedure gives parties to an opposition the option to file written submissions in lieu of attending a hearing.

- procedures for an application for a declaration of invalidity have been substantially amended, to align them with opposition procedures. Accordingly an invalidity action will involve filing a notice of opposition/counter-statement by way of defence; evidence in support of the action by the applicant for invalidity; evidence by the proprietor of the contested mark; evidence in reply by the applicant for invalidity; and further evidence, with the leave of the Office.

- the number of marks which may appear in a series is to be limited to a maximum of six marks.

- the merger of an applicant or proprietor company with a separate company will now be capable of being dealt with like an assignment, rather than as an amendment to the register.

- the deadline to request a hearing has been extended from 10 days to 21 days.

- a new application form now allows the applicant to declare that it is using the mark or has a good-faith intention to use it, rather than having to choose between the two options.

Source: and

May 09, 2010 (Newsletter Issue 10/10)
New Guidelines for Extension of Time
The Patent Office of Ireland has introduced new guidelines for dealing with applications for extension of time in respect of trademarks. They will ensure that applications for extension of time are not made routinely, but are the result of, or supported by evidence of unusual or exceptional circumstances like court cases or other proceedings awaiting completion and circumstances beyond the reasonable control of the applicant.

The new guideline is effective on May 4th, 2010.

For more information please click here

Legal basis is the Trade Marks Act of 1996 (in force since July 1, 1996) and the Trade Mark Rules 1996, as amended.
Ireland is a member of the Madrid Protocol and the European Union.
Trademark protection is obtained by registration. It can also be acquired by sufficient public recognition.
As in the United Kingdom, the principles of "common law" apply.
Nice classification, 11th edition
According to Section 6 (1) und (2)of the Trade Marks Act 1996 (as amended) a trademark means any sign which is capable of distinguishing goods or services of one undertaking from those of other undertakings. A trademark may, in particular, consist of words (including personal names) or designs, letters, numerals, colours, the shape of goods or of the packaging of goods, or sounds, provided that such signs are capable of being represented on the register in a manner which enables the Controller and the public to determine the clear and precise subject matter of the protection afforded to its proprietor.

With the implementation of the EU Directive 2015/2436, geographical indications and designations of origin, plant variety rights, as well as traditional terms for wine and for specialties have become potential absolute bars for refusal of trademark protection.

Protectable non-traditional trademarks: 3-D, colours, sounds, holograms, multimedia, smells. This list may be not be exhaustive.

The following trademark types are registrable: trademarks, service marks, collective marks, certification marks, company names and business names.
The application is filed at the Intellectual Property Office.
Multiple-class applications are possible.
The number of marks which may appear in a series is to be limited to a maximum of six marks.
While a local agent is not needed, a postal address (address for service) within the EEA is required.
A power of attorney is not necessary.
Foreign applicants do not need a domestic registration when filing for a trademark.
The application process includes a formal examination, an examination of distinctiveness and a search for prior trademarks. Signs not deemed distinctive in the examination can be registered if distinctiveness has been acquired by use.
The processing time from first filing to first office action is approx. 2-3 months. If no oppositions or official objections have been raised, the registration will take place after approx. 9 months.
Prior to registration, the trademark application is published in the bi-weekly “Official Journal”.
The opposition period is 3 months minus 1 day from publication of the application. Opposition can only be filed on relative grounds, and cannot include absolute grounds as a basis.

Details regarding the Opposition Period against designation of IR Mark are available in our publication on this topic here
Protection extends from the date of application once registration has been granted. The duration of registration of a trademark is 10 years from the date of application minus a day as the renewal has to be paid before midnight on the eve of the registration date.
The registration is renewable for periods of 10 years minus 1 day.
Practical details on grace periods for trademark renewals are available in our publication here
Practical details on trademark use requirements are available in our publication here
The official application fee is EUR 70.00 per class. The registration fee is EUR 177.00 regardless of the number of classes applied for.
When a series of trademarks shall be registered in a single registration, a fee of EUR 50.00 needs to be paid for each trademark in excess of two trademarks contained in the application.

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Practical details on trademark licensing are available in our publication here
Online you can see a limited part of information about this country.
More in-depth details are available for the following aspects:

     General Trademark Regulations
     Trademark Use Requirements
     Grace Period for Trademark Renewal
     Trademark Licensing

If you like to purchase all available information for this country, click the order button.
The total price is 49.00 EUR. A PDF-Download will be sent to you electronically.

SMD Group thanks the following law firms for their assictance in updating the information provided.

Jun 27, 2023
Tomkins & Co., Dublin, Ireland

MacLachlan & Donaldson

Unit 10, 4075 Kingswood Road, Citywest Business Campus
D24 C56E Dublin
Ireland (IE)

Intellectual Property Office of Ireland (IPOI)
Government Offices
Hebron Road
Kilkenny, R95 H4XC
Tel +353 56 77 20 11 1

European Union Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO)
Avenida de Europa, 4
03008 Alicante
Tel +34 965 139 100

World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO)
34, Chemin des Colombettes
1211 Geneva 20
Tel +41 22 33 89 11 1
Fax +41 22 73 35 42 8