Examination Process

As an office, we can only give information of a general nature in relation to trade marks and cannot give advice in relation to specific trade mark applications. We cannot therefore, provide a pre-filing examination service.

There is no legal obligation to register a trade mark.

When filing an application, it is for the applicant to specify the goods and/or services in relation to which, they wish to register their mark. An application may be filed online by e-filing or by completing the application form and posting it to the Patents Office.

When an application (which contains the minimum information required) is received, a filing date and an application number is assigned, and a filing receipt is issued.

The Minimum requirements for a filing date are:

  • A request to register the mark (completion of the prescribed application form meets this requirement);
  • The name and address of the person requesting the registration;
  • A representation of the mark (in respect of an e-filed application the representation should be submitted in Gif or Jpeg format);
  • A statement or list of the goods and/or services for which registration of the mark is sought.

Anyone consulting the Register should be in a position to determine, precisely, the scope of protection afforded by such registration with regard to the goods and/or services listed. Therefore, it is important that you specify the precise goods and/or services under each class in respect of which the mark is to be registered. It is not possible to add additional goods or services after the application has been filed. The only amendment permitted is to clarify the terms already included in the application.

In order to ensure that the goods and/or services are correct, please consult TMclass (TMclass brings together the classification databases of participating trade mark offices in order to facilitate the process of classifying your goods and/or services, and displays terms that are accepted by this Office). If there is a term you feel describes your goods and/or services and is not included in this database, you should include it in your application. If the office has a query or requires clarification, you will be given time to respond.

The application fee to register a trade mark is €70.00 per class of goods or services. If you wish to register a series of trade marks then there is an additional fee of €50.00 for each mark in excess of two in the series (Please note that a series may contain a maximum of 6 marks in a series).

For example, a series of 4 marks in 2 classes:

2 classes (of goods and/or services) x €70.00 = €140.00

Series of 4 marks (2 x €50.00) = €100.00

Total €240.00

When an application is filed, the application is examined to ensure that a mark complies with the requirements of the Trade Marks Act, 1996, particularly in relation to Sections 8, 10 & 11 of the Trade Marks Act, 1996

As part of the examination process we carry out a search of the National and the Community 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.

Where an application is open to objection because the mark is considered to be identical with, or similar to, an earlier trade mark and the goods or services for which registration is being sought are identical with, or similar to, those for which the earlier trade mark is protected, the objection may be overcome if

  • the application is amended to remove the conflicting goods and/or services, or,
  • the consent of the proprietor of the cited mark(s) to the registration of the trade mark is obtained, or
  • If evidence is provided to prove Honest Concurrent Use1 of the trade mark for which registration is sought with the cited mark, in accordance with Section 12 of the Act, or
  • if the registration of cited mark is surrendered or revoked.

When an application is accepted, it is then advertised in the next available copy of the Official Journal

Under the trade marks legislation, there is a three month window for the filing of observations or opposition to the registration of the mark. If no opposition is received within the time allowed, then a request for the registration fee is issued (€177.00 - regardless of the number of classes).

On receipt of the fee, a Certificate of Registration is then issued. This protects the mark in Ireland for a period of 10 years from the date of filing of the application. The registration can be renewed for further periods of 10 years at a time.

Only marks that are registered may use the ® symbol - the registered trade mark symbol in conjunction with their mark.

Warning

You may receive unsolicited approaches from companies/entities offering registration services or requesting payment of fees in relation to your trade mark. The only office authorised to collect fees for the processing and administration of this trade mark is the Patents Office.

Anybody in receipt of such approaches or payment requests may contact the Irish Patent Office to confirm their authenticity.