The rights to a trademark in Ireland are granted to the person or company that first uses it in this territory. Although registration is not mandatory, in practice it is highly recommended in order to demonstrate clear ownership, prevent future conflicts regarding ownership of the trademark and in order to defend against cases of trademark infringement.
To obtain trademark protection in Ireland, one can register either locally via the Irish Patents Office (IPO), or regionally by filing a European Union Trademarks (EUTM) which grants protection in the whole European Union.
Ireland is also a member state to the Madrid Protocol. Thus, the extension of an international registration of a trademark via the Madrid System is possible for this country. For further information regarding our services for trademark filing through the Madrid System click here.
It is not necessary for a trademark to be in use in Ireland in order for it to register. However, prior use may be useful as it can help overcome an objection raised on the grounds of lack of distinctiveness, by proving that the trademark has acquired distinctiveness, or establish prior rights to a trademark.
If you register a combined trademark (which includes both word elements and figurative elements) in Ireland, the exclusive right to use the trademark is limited to a use of the trademark in the exact configuration or way in which it was filed and registered. If you wish to use the word element of your trademark separately from the logo (or vice versa), it is recommended you register for another trademark including only the word or figurative elements you wish to use and protect separately.
Nevertheless, if a third party eventually intends to register or use a trademark for similar goods or services that includes a primary or distinct part or portion of your trademark, you will have the right to oppose the application based on confusing similarity.
Trademark oppositions may be filed by third parties against trademark applications in Ireland during a period of three months minus one day from the date of publication in the Official Journal of Ireland. The probabilities of success for an opposition will vary in each case depending on the circumstances.
Although a trademark does not have to be in use in order for it to register, it must not go unused for periods of five years or it will become vulnerable to cancellation actions based on lack of use of the trademark. Genuine use of the trademark is necessary to avoid such vulnerability.
Registered trademarks in Ireland have a validity of ten (10) years from the registration date and can be renewed indefinitely for further periods of ten (10) years. The trademark renewal can be requested as early as six (6) months before the expiration date. It can also be requested during the grace period of six (6) months after expiration, upon payment of a late renewal fee.