0370 270 6000

already registered?

Please sign in with your existing account details.

need to register?

Register to access exclusive content, sign up to receive our updates and personalise your experience on brownejacobson.com.

Privacy statement - Terms and conditions

a relative lack of movement in Ireland

9 July 2010

Ireland’s Department of Enterprise, Trade and Innovation has published the conclusions from its enquiry into whether the Irish Patent Office should continue to examine trade mark applications to see whether there are relative grounds for refusing the registration.  A trade mark may be refused on relative grounds if it is identical or similar to an earlier trade mark. All applications are also examined to see whether the mark should be rejected on absolute grounds – i.e. because there is something inherently wrong with the mark, for example if it is not distinctive. 

Applications for a European Community Trade Mark, and (since October 2007) for a UK trade mark, are not subject to examination on relative grounds. Instead, existing trade mark owners are notified of applications that may conflict with their registered, and given the opportunity to object – meaning that UK and Community trade mark owners must police applications. 

The UKIPO changed the system of registration to make it more similar to the CTM system – but it is clear that the system in Ireland is easier both for smaller businesses that cannot afford to invest heavily in policing their portfolio, and for consumers, who have a better guarantee of the origin of their goods.

related opinions

Developers: disregard restrictive covenants at your peril

The Supreme Court has decided a significant appeal on the Upper Tribunal’s power to discharge or modify restrictive covenants pursuant to section 84(1) of the Law of Property Act (“1925 Act”).

View blog

Government announces ten-year programme of school rebuilding

Ambitious funding plans, announced recently by the Prime Minister, have made clear that spending on school buildings is seen as a key element of efforts to stimulate the economy post-COVID.

View blog

Important opportunity to comment on case law precedent

The UK government is considering extending this power to depart from retained EU case law to additional lower courts and tribunals, namely the Court of Appeal in England and Wales and the High Court of Justice in England and Wales and their equivalents.

View blog

A landlord’s promise, a tenant’s power

When it comes to leases, most people believe that landlords hold most of the power. However, in relation to long residential leases, the tables may well have recently turned in one respect at least following a recent Supreme Court decision.

View blog

mailing list sign up



Select which mailings you would like to receive from us.

Sign up