Fees rise as trademark operations resume in northern Iraq

The Trademark Office in the northern Iraq region of Kurdistan has reopened for trademark applications following a temporary suspension of operations.

Those seeking to secure registrations which cover the entirety of Iraq must liaise with two self-autonomous trademark offices based in Baghdad and Erbil. The law regarding trademarks in Kurdistan was promulgated in August 2010, with a trademark office subsequently set up in the latter (the capital of Kurdistan) in 2011, under the purview of the Kurdistan regional government’s Ministry of Trade and Industry. In December 2016 trademark filings in Kurdistan were suspended until further notice due to “administrative and management issues”.

In January the office commenced partial operations, working to clear the backlog of existing applications but not accepting fresh ones. On July 2 it announced it had resumed accepting new applications, with the cost of all services provided by the Kurdistan directorate rising by between 15% and 20%. In addition to this fee increase, Ashin Chungath, IP consultant at JAH & Co IP, told World Trademark Review that applicants also face a number of additional requirements, including conducting a compulsory filing search (and submitting evidence of this) before lodging an application for registration.

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