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10 May 2012
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'Trademark' image

What is a trademark or service mark?

A trademark is a brand name. A trademark or service mark includes any word, name, symbol, device, or any combination, used or intended to be used to identify and distinguish the goods/services of one seller or provider from those of others, and to indicate the source of the goods/services. 

The Trade Marks Act, 1996 defines a trade mark as "any sign capable of being represented graphically which is capable of distinguishing the goods or services of one undertaking from those of other undertakings"

A trade mark may consist of words, (including personal names), designs, logos, letters, numerals or the shape of goods or of their packaging, or of other signs or indications that are capable of distinguishing the goods or services of one undertaking from those of others.
Examples of familiar Irish trade marks are: Kerrygold, Glanbia, Tayto, Siucra.

Although registration of a mark is not mandatory, it has several advantages, including notice to the public of the registrant's claim of ownership of the mark, legal presumption of ownership nationwide, and exclusive right to use the mark on or in connection with the goods/services listed in the registration.

How to Apply

Any person or company etc who uses or proposes to use a Trade Mark can apply to register that mark. An application may be made either before the mark is put in use or afterwards. Generally speaking an application should be made to register a mark as soon as possible to ensure priority over anyone else who applies to register the same or similar mark. To apply, complete the application form (Form No. 1). This should then be lodged at the Patents Office, Government Buildings, Hebron Road, Kilkenny. The fee for filing an application may be paid at this time or within one month of that date.

The Patents Office will accept a trade mark application by fax to 00 353 (56) 7720179 or Lo-Call 1890 220120. If a trade mark application is received by fax during office hours it will be given a filing date for the day it is received, provided it meets the minimum requirements for a filing date. If the trade mark being applied for is an image, the office will treat the application as being in respect of the black and white image on the faxed application form. If a copy of the faxed application with a colour version of the same mark is subsequently submitted, the office will not automatically replace the original faxed black and white image with the colour image. If an applicant wishes to substitute a colour image of the mark for the black and white image of the mark, which was originally applied for, then the applicant will have to formally apply to amend the application and pay the prescribed fee.

An applicant may pursue his or her application personally or choose to employ the services of a registered Trade Mark Agent. If an application meets the criteria for registration, it is registered with effect from the date of application.

Lisa Jackson from the Commerical ICT section of Leman Solicitors has put together an overview document to help you understand more about Trade Marks. The document is herein attached within this webpage. "Trade Mark Guide" 

Useful Resources
For further information on the topic please also see:

Irish Patent Office:

Terademark agents:
"OHIM - Databases":
WIPO's "Trademark gateway":

US Trademark Office:

IPR Heldesk:

Attached Documents

PDF icon How to search for Trademarks (How_to_search_for_trademarks.pdf | 1.40 MB)
PDF icon Trade Mark Guide - Leman Solicitors (20130422_Trade_Mark_Guide_Leman.pdf | 159 kB)