After a brief disruption, the Trademark Office in the Kurdish region of Iraq has resumed operations and is currently accepting trademark applications. It is worth noting that there are two Trademark Offices in Iraq, the aforementioned office in Erbil and another in the capital, Baghdad.
In principle, the scope of the registration at the Baghdad TMO covers the whole country, including the Kurdish region. Nevertheless, with the reopened TMO in Erbil, trademark owners now have the option of seeking additional protection in the Kurdish region.
The TMO in Erbil follows the 7th edition of the Nice classification. Trademark examination is performed on formal, absolute, and relative grounds and oppositions may be filed within 90 days from publication date. The protection term for a registered trademark is 10 years from filing date and is renewable for like periods.
Protection in the Kurdish region may be advisable in certain situations, especially in an infringement claim—the more solid the portfolio is, the better the trademark owner’s position will be in bringing an infringement claim in the future. However, trademark owners should of course seek sound advice before they decide on the best route to pursue.
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