Iraq Trademark Registrations 101

Registration of trademarks in Iraq is effective under the provisions of Trademarks and Descriptions Law No. 21 of 1957 and its subsequent amendments. Order No. 80 issued by the Coalition Provisional Authority (“CPA”) on April 26, 2004, amended this trademarks law and renamed it the “Trademark and Geographical Indications Law.” The recent Federal Iraq Law No. 9 of 2010 again slightly altered the title of the law to the “Trademarks and Commercial Data Law” (“Trademark Law”).

Where to Register? Registration in Federal Iraq is made at the Trade Marks Registry in Baghdad which is under the control of the Ministry of Industry and Minerals. However, registrations for the Kurdistan Region take place at the Erbil Trademark Registry. While the former registration covers all of Iraq, the latter covers only the Kurdistan Region. Given the ongoing tensions between the Erbil and the Baghdad Registries, all companies prefer to register with the two registries given that the Baghdad Registry in not very helpful in assisting in cases or violations taking place in Kurdistan…Note also that the Trademark Law is applicable in all of Iraq whereas the CPA Order is not applicable in Kurdistsn..

What Protection? The Trademark Law provides for the protection of trademarks and service marks and other types of marks which can be graphically represented and are suitable for distinguishing goods and services from other goods and services upon registration in Iraq.  Registration grants an exclusive right to prevent third parties from unauthorized use of marks which are identical or similar to the registered mark and which would be likely to result in confusion.

How long? Registration provides protection for the trademark for 10 years which is renewable in the ninth year for a further ten year period.  The trademark owner has a grace period of six months after expiry of the trademark to apply for a renewal, failing which measures will be taken to remove it from the register.