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Amendments to Trademark Laws

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Jan 31, 2019 (Newsletter Issue 1/19)
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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.