Iran has always been a beneficial market for different businesses with many opportunities for business growth. Just like any other flourishing market, some actions need to be taken to protect your business and one of the most crucial elements needing to protect is your trademark. The best way to protect this valuable element is registration.
Trademark registration in Iran is complicated and you will need some legal advice. During the registration process, you might face some obstacles and problems and a legal expert could minimize them with good foresight. In this regard, Karimi & Associates Law Firm, with a team of experienced and expert lawyers in various legal fields, by providing specialized legal advice, accompanies and supports your interests in Trademark Registration.
The first step of registering and protecting your trademark is awareness of its meaning. There might be some vague definitions in your mind, but let’s make it clear: “A trademark is a word, phrase, logo, or any other distinguishable symbol that is used to clearly differentiate the goods and/or services of one manufacturer from those of other producers.” Trademarks, both registered and unregistered, are valid but their legal protection varies. For better clarification, we must answer several questions. A roadmap, somehow, and taking us to the destinations.
Which Treaties and Protections?
To protect intellectual property rights, numerous international treaties have been enacted. Iran has been a member of the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) since 2002 and has joined the following international treaties:
- Paris Convention for the Protection of Industrial Property
- Madrid International Agreement
- Lisbon Agreement for the Protection of Appellations of Origin and their International Registration
- International Patent Cooperation Treaty
The second and the third ones are useful tools for our topic; a number of countries have adopted the Madrid Agreements System as guidelines for international trademark registration, which includes the Madrid Agreement and its associated Protocol. The member states of this agreement, undertake not to import goods that use fake marks to deceive customers. Iran joined the Madrid agreement in 2000 to prevent the use of fake or misleading source marks on goods.
The Lisbon Agreement, which was approved in 1958 and Iran joined in 2003, is about the protection of origin names and their international registration. A special union for the protection of industrial property was established based on the international Agreement of Lisbon, and countries committed to protecting the names of the origin of products produced in member countries of this agreement.
As a result, Iran is a member of two major international agreements, and this is a great point that ensures traders on trademark registration and legal protections in Iran. Now is the time for another issue and solution.
Items that can be registered as a Trademark in Iran
The next question concerns the items that can be registered as a Trademark in Iran. What are they and what is the clue for the recognition?
Words (personal names, trade names, etc.), logos, graphics, colors, the shape of the product or packaging, and holograms can be registered as trademarks. Please consider that in Iran, you cannot register a trademark for alcoholic products.
What could be the reasons for trademark registration denial in Iran?
There are two reasons for this. Absolute and Relative grounds for the refusal. The first type can be the following:
- If the trademark is against the religion (Shariah) and public order,
- If it is likely to confuse the public, particularly regarding the origins or characteristics of the goods/services and,
- If the trademark is unable to differentiate one industry’s goods/services from those of another.
What about the Relative grounds?
- If the proposed trademark is similar to a well-known mark or trade name in Iran for a similar category of goods and services and,
- If the trademark is equivalent to one that another owner has already registered for similar goods/services and had an earlier priority, it would be a relative reason for the trademark registration denial.
What is the process of Trademark Registration?
Generally, there are several steps as follows:
- The first step is to search: before filing an application, you shall search to see if there are any existing trademarks that could conflict with the suggested mark.
- The next station is the Iranian Intellectual Property Office (IIPO). You can file the application online or in presence. It should represent the trademark in detail and a list should be annexed to it, including the services and goods using the trademark. The IIPO will review the application to ensure that it fulfills all the necessities, including uniqueness and conformity with public order and morality.
The review process usually takes 6 to 10 months. The application will be published in the official gazette and if there is any opposition from the third parties’ side, it shall be announced within 30 days by filing an opposition. The opposition must be submitted in written form, and it must state the reasons for opposing the registration.
The applicant must reply to the opposition claim within 20 days of being notified. The applicant should respond to the grounds for opposition raised. The opposition might extend the trademark registration process for several months. In case of no opposition or refusal, the Trademark Registration Certificate will be issued by IIPO.
What are the required documents for Trademark registration?
Firstly, you should consider that the official language is Persian. Therefore, if the documents are in another language, an official Persian translation is required.
The documents are as follows:
- Payment order,
- Power of attorney in case of performing the process by a representative,
- And identity documents and Registration Certificate of the applicant.
Trademark registration in Iran is a complicated task that necessitates a serious analysis of the trademark representation, the goods, or services for which it will be used, and the IIPO’s requirements. In this regard, we suggest you get legal advice. Karimi & Associates Law firm with a professional team of legal experts in international trade and business law is at your service. If you intend to register a trademark in Iran, you can click on the contact us section and receive specialized legal advice in this field from our team of professional lawyers.