Re-Filing Trademark Applications in Iraq
It is now a requirement in Iraq to make a request for examination, which appears to involve a search, prior to filing a trademark application. If the examination results are clear, an application can be filed together with the examination results, and the application will be accepted and proceed to publication immediately. If the results are not clear, an application can still be filed, however, it appears that an appeal will be necessary to try to overcome the negative aspects of the examination report.
In 2016 a new Trademarks Registrar was appointed, and new practices were introduced including the need for the pre-filing examination discussed above. The examination of all pending applications filed prior to the new Registrar’s appointment was discontinued, as those applications were not submitted with an examination report. If Applicants wish to maintain ownership rights in the marks that are the subject matter of such applications, new applications must be submitted under the new practice. It appears that such newly filed applications will have priority back to the corresponding earlier application date if the re-filing is timely submitted. Affected applications appear to be those with application numbers from 50,000 to 72,000, however, Applicants should confirm all pending applications to be certain.
On January 29, 2018, the Registrar started issuing official notices to the owners of the affected applications requesting the re-filing of the applications within seven days. Failure to re-file will result in the abandonment of the application.
Those with affected applications in Iraq are encouraged to contact counsel in Iraq to ensure that timely steps are taken.