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Trademarks in Ireland


The Trademark Act of 1996(as Amended) of Ireland defines a trade mark as “any sign which is capable of distinguishing the goods or services of one undertaking from those of other undertakings and is capable of being represented on the register”.

In order to legally protect a brand or other sign used in commerce, it is necessary to register it with the Intellectual Property Office of Ireland (IPOI). Only IPOI can guarantee the right to exclusive use of a trademark or other signs used in trade.

Intellectual Property
Relevant officeIntellectual Property Office of Ireland (IPOI)
Official website of IPOI
Filing principleFirst-to-file
Nice classificationYes
Paris conventionYes
Madrid systemYes
Single class systemYes
Documents required for filing a trade mark applicationName and address of the applicant, clear representation of the trademark, list of goods and/or services.
Prosecution processFiling, publication, examination, registration, renewal
Registration term10 years from the date of application
Renewal term10 years

Trademarks registrable in Ireland

The various types of trademarks that are registrable in Ireland include figurative mark, combined mark, shape mark, position mark, pattern marks, colour only marks, sound marks, motion mark, multimedia mark, hologram, collective trademarks, certification trademarks, series of trademarks.

Trademarks not registrable in Ireland

A trademark will be refused registration in Ireland if:

  • It is not capable of distinguishing good or services of one business from those of other businesses,
  • does not have any distinctive character,
  • consists exclusively of signs or indications that designate essential characteristics of goods or services (e.g. their quality, intended purpose, geographical origin etc.),
  • consists exclusively of signs or indications which are customary in the language in the trade,
  • consists exclusively of the shape, arising from the goods themselves, or which is necessary to obtain a technical result, or gives substantial value to the goods,
  • is contrary to public policy or principles of morality,
  • is likely to deceive the public, e.g. as to the nature, quality, or geographical origin of the goods or services,
  • is applied for in bad faith,
  • is identical with or similar to a trade mark that is already on the Register in respect of identical or similar goods.

Trademark Search in Ireland

In Ireland, before applying for a new trademark, it is essential to make sure that you are free to use it in so far as it is not similar or identical to any trademark already existing (registered) or the subject of an existing pending application for registration of a mark in the same classes of goods or services.

For more information about Trademark search in Ireland, please check

Trademark examination process

When an application is filed, the application is then examined to ensure that a mark complies with the requirements of the Trade Marks Act, 1996.

As part of the examination process a search is carried out by Trademark examiner of National and the European Union Trade Mark Databases to see if there is a similar or identical trade mark registered or pending with an earlier filing date. If there is, we will cite the mark and write to the applicant, setting out their options and give time in which to respond.

Trademark Publication and Opposition in Ireland

When the Office accepts a trade mark application it is published in the Journal of the Intellectual Property Office of Ireland, which then made available online. After publication the trademark is then made available for opposition for a three month period within which parties may file observations or an opposition to its registration. 

If opposition is not filed against the trade mark application, the applicant is required to pay prescribed registration fee to complete registration of the trade mark.

Trademark Registration and Renewal in Ireland

Once registered, a trademark is valid for a period of 10 years from the date of registration. In order to keep trade mark protection in place it must be renewed every 10 years.  The due date for the renewal of a trade mark is always calculated from the date of Registration. 

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