Under Irish law, certain brand assets can be registered as trade marks to protect their usage. Registration lasts indefinitely as long as the individual or company that owns the trade mark renews the registration every ten years. Otherwise, it’ll expire, and the exclusive intellectual property rights associated with the mark will be lost. Not everything can be registered as a trade mark though. Generally, it’s restricted to words, logos, colours, designs and shapes that help distinguish the provider of a good or service from another in the same category.
If your assets meet the criteria, then there are considerable benefits to registering:
If you want to register a trade mark in Ireland, you’ll need to file an application with the Intellectual Property Office of Ireland (IPOI). If you want broader trade mark protection, you may want to register with the IP office in the European Union (EUIPO) and other jurisdictions, too.
Either way, first, you’ll need to check no one else has registered similar marks already. We can help you complete a search of the register and provide advice on what to do if there is a competing mark. If there are no issues, we can then guide you through the trade mark registration process.
After you’ve submitted an application and it’s accepted by the IPOI, it’ll then be published in a public journal. Other parties then have three months to file an opposition to your registration, if they believe the mark infringes upon their own mark.
If your application is opposed, we can communicate with the opposing party and try to find a way of resolving the issue without heading to official proceedings.
Or, if you feel a recent application infringes your intellectual property rights and you wish to submit a trade mark opposition, we’ll review your case and advise on the best course of action.
If you find evidence of unauthorised use of your mark or a similar mark by another party, we can help you launch a trade mark infringement claim and win appropriate compensation.
After all, given all the effort you put into building your brand and building up a positive reputation, it’s vital you enforce your rights and protect the brand.
Alternatively, perhaps you’ve received a cease and desist letter for trade mark infringement, and you need legal support. Our trade mark lawyers have helped thousands of individuals and companies successfully defend against claims.
Before submitting a trade mark application, it’s important to check what’s already registered. We can carry out detailed clearance searches both in Ireland and overseas with subsequent advice on any potential blocking marks.
Once your application has been registered, we can set up a “watching” service. This will automatically notify us of similar pending applications, allowing you to oppose similar trade marks before they reach the registration stage.
Briffa is a leading law firm that specialises in intellectual property rights, such as trade marks and copyright. We’re recognised by industry bodies like the Legal500 for the quality and output of our work.
We’re not your typical, traditional law firm. We match our deep understanding of IP law with a creative, commercially aware and customer-focused approach, meaning we’ll figure out a course of action that meets your goals – even if it requires an alternative, out-of-the-box solution.
And, we work with a wide range of clients – from individual artists, musicians, and writers, to startups, SMEs and global brands. There’s no case too big or too small, so get in touch today to organise a free consultation with one of our trade mark solicitors.
Since 1995, we’ve established ourselves as experts in trade mark law, delivering practical solutions for contentious and non-contentious matters.
We have offices in the Republic of Ireland and the UK, plus a global network of associates and industry contacts.
We offer a free initial consultation to discuss your needs before any fixed-fee quotes are given.
We provide an industry-leading service with short turnaround times and commercial advice.
Our office is in the centre of Cork, Ireland. Meetings are available by appointment.
1 Horgan’s Quay
Phone: +353 (021) 237 9722
Mark Eiffe leads our Irish operations. With a background working as the in-house legal counsel for multinationals operating in Ireland, Mark can provide tailored, sensible advice on legal issues relating to trademark applications and infringements, passing off disputes, and licensing.
Find out more about Mark below, or follow the link to meet the rest of the team.
There are rules that govern the eligibility of a potential trade mark in Ireland, which are covered in the Trade Mark Act of 1996.
In short, a trade mark can be a word, phrase, logo, colour, shape, or even a sound associated with your brand, so long as it can be easily conveyed to the public exactly what you are registering.
Registering a trade mark with the Intellectual Property Office in Ireland is a six-step process, which includes: performing clearance searches, filing an application, review of the application by the IPOI, publication in a public journal and dealing with oppositions (if any), full registration, and then renewal every ten years.
We highly recommend that companies in Ireland register their brand name as a trade mark if the name is eligible and available. This means the name is protected and you have exclusive rights to use that name for your products and services, stopping any copycat attempts.
If you’re trading internationally, you may want to register your business name abroad too, such as with the EU to cover all member states.
There are plenty of resources online to learn more about trade mark law in Ireland. We recommend the following:
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