Additional requirements for legalisation raise concerns

  • Trademark applications must be supported by notarised and legalised documents, including a power of attorney
  • Authorities are now asking for a full copy of the signatory’s passport
  • There is concern that this creates a risk of identity theft

Applications for trademarks and other IP rights in Iraq are required to be supported by notarised and legalised documents, including a power of attorney. A general power of attorney may be issued to a local agent.

It has become the practice of Iraqi embassies/consulates that undertake legalisation to require that the authorisation of the signatory is proved to them and that a full copy of the passport or other identification document of the signatory is provided.

Despite the notarisation procedure prior to legalisation having confirmed the authorisation and identity of the signatory, the Iraqi authorities are still requiring these additional documents to complete legalisation.

A power of attorney, once received by the local agent in Iraq, needs to be super-legalised by the General Tax Commission and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Recently, a colour copy of the signatory’s passport has also been required by the General Tax Commission to complete this process.  

Existing powers of attorney that are already issued should not be subject to these additional requirements. Rights holders should monitor for expiry of any existing powers of attorney and prepare new powers of attorney.

There is a concern that the Iraqi authorities are not properly recognising the purpose of the notarisation process and the need to provide passport copies creates a real risk of identity theft. If a rights holder wishes to proceed notwithstanding these requirements, it is suggested that general powers of attorney are issued to avoid having to repeat the process a number of times.

Samantha Grainger, Rouse, Dubai

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