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

A brief update on probate

A new online system for probate applications was introduced in early October 2019, which will allow us to process and track applications for grants of probate online.

View blog

Bailleurs et locataires, vos baux commerciaux sont-ils armés pour résister à l' épreuve du futur?

Durant les deux dernières semaines, nous avons connu vu une nouvelle vague d’annonces concernant de grandes enseignes du commerce britannique.

View blog

The importance of three magic words: subject to contract

A recent case illustrates the importance of ensuring that all emails discussing the terms of a proposed acquisition are headed ‘subject to contract’.

View blog

Retailers and landlords, are your commercial leases future-proof?

The last two weeks have seen yet another flurry of announcements regarding big high street names including Thomas Cook, Argos, Karen Millen and Coast.

View blog

mailing list sign up



Select which mailings you would like to receive from us.

Sign up