TRADEMARKS FILING AND PROSECUTION IN IRAQ
A trademark is a distinctive sign or indicator used by an individual, business organization, or other legal entity to help consumers indentify that its products or services with which the trademark appears originate from a unique source, and to help distinguish its products or services from those of other entities.
Trademark in Iraq may be designated by the following symbols:
- ® (for a registered trademark)
- ™ (for an unregistered trademark)
A trademark is typically a name, word, phrase, logo, symbol, design, image, or a combination of these elements. There is also a range of non-conventional trademarks comprising marks which do not fall into these standards categories, such as those based on colour, smell, or sound.
A trademark provides protection to the owner of the mark by ensuring the exclusive right to use it to identify goods or services, or to authorize another to use it in return for payment. Trademark protection also hinders the efforts of unfair competitors, such as counterfeiters, to use similar distinctive signs to market inferior or different products or services.
The owner of the registered trademark may initiate legal proceedings for trademark infringement to prevent unauthorized use of that trademark.Registration of trademarks in Iraq are covered under the provisions of the trademarks and description law no. 21 of 1957 and its subsequent amendments.
|Relevant office||Industrial property department Central organization for standardization & quality control (COSQC) ministry of planning|
|Nice classification||No (local classification)|
|Multi class system||Yes|
|Documents required for filing a trademark application||Power of Attorney from Iraqi Embassy, extract from the commercial extract or notarized trademark certificate of incorporation at an Iraqi consulate|
|Prosecution process||Filing publication of the mark in the trade mark journal opposition(within 90 days from the date of last publication) registration renewal|
|Registration term||10 years from the filing date|
|Renewal term||10 years|
Trademark searches in Iraq
It is advisable to conduct a trademark search prior to filing a trademark application to ascertain the availability of trademarks, existence of prior identical/similar marks on the register etc., so as to avoid any objection and opposition with respect to the mark.
A trademark search in Iraq can be conducted for word marks, device marks, numeral and labels. An official search can be conducted at the records of the Industrial property department Central organization for standardization & quality control (COSQC) ministry of planning.
Trademark word search edition of Iraq does not follows the Nice Classification instead it follows the Local/National Classifications for goods and services and trademark applications can be filed in respect of goods in classes 1-34 and for services 35-42.
It is advisable to conduct comprehensive trademark clearance search in Iraq to ascertain availability of the proposed mark and also to overcome any objection and opposition with respect to mark later on.
Along with trademark search, it is also advisable to do a comprehensive company search and domain search of the proposed trademark in Iraq. It is advisable to conduct a comprehensive search for a figuration trademark.
Filing trademark application in Iraq
A person may file multi class or single class trademark applications in Iraq.
Trademark application can be filed in the following categories:
- Ordinary Applications
- Convention application (claiming priority from a convention country)
Ordinary applications in Iraq
Ordinary trademark applications filed in Iraq are applications without claiming any priority. Ordinary applications for the marks not registered in Iraq can be filed with Iraqi Kurdistan Region. The application for the registration should be submitted to the registrar of Trademarks in the Iraqi Kurdistan Region including: Legalized Power of Attorney, certified copy of the trademark registration certificate and notarized trademark certificate of incorporation or extract from the commercial registrar. Multi class trademark applications can be filed in Iraq. However, the trademarks act also lays down provisions regarding the filing of priority applications, wherein priority of the mark can be claimed in the said mark filed in a convention country.
Priority trademark applications in Iraq/Convention trademark applications Iraq:
A priority trademark application may be filed in Iraq. A priority trademark application should be filed in Iraq within 6 months after the date on which the application was made in the convention country.
The Paris Convention for the Protection of Industrial Property, signed in Paris, France, on March 20, 1883, established a Union for the protection of industrial property. It offers national treatment to the applicant residing in the member country of the union, in other words. National treatment is a very important concept and is essential for successfully achieving the fundamental aim of the Paris Convention. The idea is to provide equal treatment to applications from member countries, in a given member country and not to differentiate between the nationals of member countries for the purpose of grant, and protection of industrial property. Priority application can be filed in Iraq within six months of after the date on which the application was made in the Convention Countries.
Trademark classes for goods and services
Industrial property department Central organization for standardization & quality control (COSQC) ministry of planning does not follows the Nice Classification instead it follows the Local/National Classifications for goods and services and trademark applications can be filed in respect of goods in classes 1-34 and for services 35-42.
Trademark examination in Iraq
Once the application is submitted for the registration, the registrar examines the application among the registered marks and pending applications so that it is not in resemblance with the other applications. After this the registrar notifies the applicant within fifteen days from the date of filing about his absolute or conditional acceptance or of the rejection of the application.
If within thirty days from the date of the notification, the registrar does not receive any response or consent regarding the modifications or conditions imposed or if the applicant shows no desire of completing such modifications or conditions within the prescribed period the application shall be deemed to be cancelled. 
Trademark opposition in Iraq
In the event of successful completion of the examination stage, the application for the registration is accepted and published in three consecutive numbers of bulletin of the directorate general of commerce. Any interested party within ninety days from the date of last publication may file a notice of opposition. The registrar will serve the copy of the opposition to the applicant and the applicant within thirty days shall file a reply on the grounds on which he relies with the office and the copy of the same will be served to the opponent.
The opponent within thirty from the date of the opposition will file evidence in support of his opposition. The copy of the same will be transferred to the applicant.
The applicant within thirty days from the date of notification of the evidence will file evidence in support of his application. The copy of the same will be transferred to the opponent.
After this no evidence will be filed, the registrar will conduct hearing on the request of either of the parties and shall give his decision on the matter and same will be notified to all the parties.
Trademark registration in Iraq
The application shall proceed to registration where there is no opposition or where the opposition was filed and was decided in favor of the applicant. The mark is registered for a period of 10 years from the filing date and the registration certificate is issued.