Iran: Opposition Procedure For IRs In Iran

Last Updated: 15 December 2016
Article by Rachel Armstrong


As a result of the US and other nations looking to ease the sanctions imposed on Iran, the international business community is once again starting to look at the opportunities presented by the largely untapped market of Iran. Although the US and EU sanctions relating to Iran did not previously prohibit the registration or enforcement of IP rights in Iran, brand owners have tended to proceed with caution in Iran. Although some hesitancy remains, there has been a noticeable increase in international brand owners looking to protect their intellectual property rights in Iran, as a prelude to entering the market.

Due to this shift in focus towards Iran, now is an opportune time to look at some of the potential issues that brand owners face when protecting their rights in Iran.

This article focuses on the particular issue of opposition procedures in Iran with focus on the process for opposing international registrations ("IRs"), that can result in practical challenges.

Overview of the opposition process in Iran

The opposition procedure in Iran is similar to that of many countries in the Middle East / North Africa ("MENA") region. Once a trade mark application has been examined, accepted and published in the Iranian Trade Mark Gazette, any interested party may, within 30 days after the publication date, submit an opposition claiming that the application should not be permitted to proceed to registration. This is the process followed for both national and international filings in Iran.

Delays in examination

On the face of it, the process is straightforward. However, what happens when there is a delay in the examination, acceptance and publication process – such as is the case for IRs?

With the Iran Trade Mark Office prioritising national applications, there have been sporadic delays in the examination of IRs. It can take anywhere between three months and two years for an IR application to be examined.

Such delays can mean that IRs can take several years to be published in Iran for third party opposition. This delay creates a particular issue when it comes to international applications. On one hand, IRs may not published for third party opposition in Iran; on the other hand, the usual 18 month period for the Iranian Intellectual Property Office ("IIPO") to notify WIPO of a refusal still applies in the background.

In accordance with Article 18ter of the Madrid Protocol, in the event that no provisional refusal has been recorded prior to the expiry of the refusal period, the application will be considered registered. Therefore, the delay in examination can result in a mark being deemed registered in Iran without third parties having had the opportunity to oppose the application (or the IIPO examining the application).

Another issue – publication

In addition to the potential issues faced by the delay in examination of IRs, if the application does happen to be examined within a shorter time frame, say three months, the IR application still has to overcome another hurdle: publication.

There are a number of issues with the publication of IRs in Iran. This is because, at the current time, international applications, once accepted are not being published with national applications in the Iranian Trade Mark Gazette. The only way an IR would be published in the Iranian Trade Mark Gazette is if the applicant specifically instructs a local agent to pay the publication fees to the IIPO (that is, in addition to the official fees already paid to WIPO for the IR).

Therefore, unless the applicant is prepared to pay additional fees, the application will not be published in the Iranian Trade Mark Gazette, removing the opportunity for interested third parties to oppose. Unless the applicant specifically requires the registration in Iran (for example, for enforcement purposes), the applicant is likely to allow this process to take its course and wait for the application to be deemed registered after 18 months by virtue of Article 18ter of the Madrid Protocol.

Alternative publication

The IIPO has, however, implemented a separate publication mechanism for IRs, which are published in an electronic magazine. However, as the electronic magazine is not provided for in the 2008 Patents, Industrial Designs and Trademarks Registration Act of the Islamic Republic of Iran (the "Iranian Trade Mark Law"), there is a concern that any oppositions filed on the basis of publication in the electronic magazine may well be deemed invalid on the basis that the electronic magazine does not constitute "publication" for the purposes of the opposition provisions of the Iranian Trade Mark Law.

The Iranian Trade Mark Law is due to be updated to provide a legal basis for publication in the electronic magazine for opposition purposes. However, as it currently stands, there is no stipulated timeframe in which the necessary amendments to the Iranian Trade Mark Law will be made.

It is therefore possible that IRs will automatically mature to registration under the WIPO rules when the 18 months period expires, without an opportunity for third parties to oppose the marks.

In addition, there are currently no provisions allowing third parties to oppose or otherwise object to a trade mark application or IR before publication in the Iranian Trademark Gazette.

Recent developments

Due to the issues with the process for IR applications in Iran, the IIPO has recently confirmed that publication of IRs in the electronic magazine will now be considered a valid publication to enable interested third parties to oppose.

In practice, this means that, interested parties will need to monitor both the electronic magazine (as the source which automatically publishes accepted IR applications) and also the Iran Trademark Gazette in case the applicant take the extra step to pay additional publication fees directly to the IIPO or there is a change in practice and the IIPO re-commences publishing IRs.

What does this mean in practice?

On the basis of the current practice outlined above, brand owners should consider implementing a watch service for both the Iran Trademark Gazette and the electronic magazine in respect of all trade marks that it is interested in protecting in Iran.

Should potentially infringing marks not be opposed and subsequently mature to registration, the only remedy available to brand owners is to file a cancellation action before the courts in Iran.

The opposition procedure for IRs is still evolving procedure, and one that we hope to see clarified with the introduction of the amended Iran Trademark Law. Due to the projected increasing importance of Iran to business globally, we hope to see the requisite changes implemented in the near future.

The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.

To print this article, all you need is to be registered on

Click to Login as an existing user or Register so you can print this article.

Some comments from our readers…
“The articles are extremely timely and highly applicable”
“I often find critical information not available elsewhere”
“As in-house counsel, Mondaq’s service is of great value”

Up-coming Events Search
Font Size:
Mondaq on Twitter
Register for Access and our Free Biweekly Alert for
This service is completely free. Access 250,000 archived articles from 100+ countries and get a personalised email twice a week covering developments (and yes, our lawyers like to think you’ve read our Disclaimer).
Email Address
Company Name
Confirm Password
Mondaq Topics -- Select your Interests
 Law Performance
 Law Practice
 Media & IT
 Real Estate
 Wealth Mgt
Asia Pacific
European Union
Latin America
Middle East
United States
Worldwide Updates
Check to state you have read and
agree to our Terms and Conditions

Terms & Conditions and Privacy Statement (the Website) is owned and managed by Mondaq Ltd and as a user you are granted a non-exclusive, revocable license to access the Website under its terms and conditions of use. Your use of the Website constitutes your agreement to the following terms and conditions of use. Mondaq Ltd may terminate your use of the Website if you are in breach of these terms and conditions or if Mondaq Ltd decides to terminate your license of use for whatever reason.

Use of

You may use the Website but are required to register as a user if you wish to read the full text of the content and articles available (the Content). You may not modify, publish, transmit, transfer or sell, reproduce, create derivative works from, distribute, perform, link, display, or in any way exploit any of the Content, in whole or in part, except as expressly permitted in these terms & conditions or with the prior written consent of Mondaq Ltd. You may not use electronic or other means to extract details or information about’s content, users or contributors in order to offer them any services or products which compete directly or indirectly with Mondaq Ltd’s services and products.


Mondaq Ltd and/or its respective suppliers make no representations about the suitability of the information contained in the documents and related graphics published on this server for any purpose. All such documents and related graphics are provided "as is" without warranty of any kind. Mondaq Ltd and/or its respective suppliers hereby disclaim all warranties and conditions with regard to this information, including all implied warranties and conditions of merchantability, fitness for a particular purpose, title and non-infringement. In no event shall Mondaq Ltd and/or its respective suppliers be liable for any special, indirect or consequential damages or any damages whatsoever resulting from loss of use, data or profits, whether in an action of contract, negligence or other tortious action, arising out of or in connection with the use or performance of information available from this server.

The documents and related graphics published on this server could include technical inaccuracies or typographical errors. Changes are periodically added to the information herein. Mondaq Ltd and/or its respective suppliers may make improvements and/or changes in the product(s) and/or the program(s) described herein at any time.


Mondaq Ltd requires you to register and provide information that personally identifies you, including what sort of information you are interested in, for three primary purposes:

  • To allow you to personalize the Mondaq websites you are visiting.
  • To enable features such as password reminder, newsletter alerts, email a colleague, and linking from Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) to your website.
  • To produce demographic feedback for our information providers who provide information free for your use.

Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) do not sell or provide your details to third parties other than information providers. The reason we provide our information providers with this information is so that they can measure the response their articles are receiving and provide you with information about their products and services.

If you do not want us to provide your name and email address you may opt out by clicking here .

If you do not wish to receive any future announcements of products and services offered by Mondaq by clicking here .

Information Collection and Use

We require site users to register with Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) to view the free information on the site. We also collect information from our users at several different points on the websites: this is so that we can customise the sites according to individual usage, provide 'session-aware' functionality, and ensure that content is acquired and developed appropriately. This gives us an overall picture of our user profiles, which in turn shows to our Editorial Contributors the type of person they are reaching by posting articles on Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) – meaning more free content for registered users.

We are only able to provide the material on the Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) site free to site visitors because we can pass on information about the pages that users are viewing and the personal information users provide to us (e.g. email addresses) to reputable contributing firms such as law firms who author those pages. We do not sell or rent information to anyone else other than the authors of those pages, who may change from time to time. Should you wish us not to disclose your details to any of these parties, please tick the box above or tick the box marked "Opt out of Registration Information Disclosure" on the Your Profile page. We and our author organisations may only contact you via email or other means if you allow us to do so. Users can opt out of contact when they register on the site, or send an email to with “no disclosure” in the subject heading

Mondaq News Alerts

In order to receive Mondaq News Alerts, users have to complete a separate registration form. This is a personalised service where users choose regions and topics of interest and we send it only to those users who have requested it. Users can stop receiving these Alerts by going to the Mondaq News Alerts page and deselecting all interest areas. In the same way users can amend their personal preferences to add or remove subject areas.


A cookie is a small text file written to a user’s hard drive that contains an identifying user number. The cookies do not contain any personal information about users. We use the cookie so users do not have to log in every time they use the service and the cookie will automatically expire if you do not visit the Mondaq website (or its affiliate sites) for 12 months. We also use the cookie to personalise a user's experience of the site (for example to show information specific to a user's region). As the Mondaq sites are fully personalised and cookies are essential to its core technology the site will function unpredictably with browsers that do not support cookies - or where cookies are disabled (in these circumstances we advise you to attempt to locate the information you require elsewhere on the web). However if you are concerned about the presence of a Mondaq cookie on your machine you can also choose to expire the cookie immediately (remove it) by selecting the 'Log Off' menu option as the last thing you do when you use the site.

Some of our business partners may use cookies on our site (for example, advertisers). However, we have no access to or control over these cookies and we are not aware of any at present that do so.

Log Files

We use IP addresses to analyse trends, administer the site, track movement, and gather broad demographic information for aggregate use. IP addresses are not linked to personally identifiable information.


This web site contains links to other sites. Please be aware that Mondaq (or its affiliate sites) are not responsible for the privacy practices of such other sites. We encourage our users to be aware when they leave our site and to read the privacy statements of these third party sites. This privacy statement applies solely to information collected by this Web site.

Surveys & Contests

From time-to-time our site requests information from users via surveys or contests. Participation in these surveys or contests is completely voluntary and the user therefore has a choice whether or not to disclose any information requested. Information requested may include contact information (such as name and delivery address), and demographic information (such as postcode, age level). Contact information will be used to notify the winners and award prizes. Survey information will be used for purposes of monitoring or improving the functionality of the site.


If a user elects to use our referral service for informing a friend about our site, we ask them for the friend’s name and email address. Mondaq stores this information and may contact the friend to invite them to register with Mondaq, but they will not be contacted more than once. The friend may contact Mondaq to request the removal of this information from our database.


This website takes every reasonable precaution to protect our users’ information. When users submit sensitive information via the website, your information is protected using firewalls and other security technology. If you have any questions about the security at our website, you can send an email to

Correcting/Updating Personal Information

If a user’s personally identifiable information changes (such as postcode), or if a user no longer desires our service, we will endeavour to provide a way to correct, update or remove that user’s personal data provided to us. This can usually be done at the “Your Profile” page or by sending an email to

Notification of Changes

If we decide to change our Terms & Conditions or Privacy Policy, we will post those changes on our site so our users are always aware of what information we collect, how we use it, and under what circumstances, if any, we disclose it. If at any point we decide to use personally identifiable information in a manner different from that stated at the time it was collected, we will notify users by way of an email. Users will have a choice as to whether or not we use their information in this different manner. We will use information in accordance with the privacy policy under which the information was collected.

How to contact Mondaq

You can contact us with comments or queries at

If for some reason you believe Mondaq Ltd. has not adhered to these principles, please notify us by e-mail at and we will use commercially reasonable efforts to determine and correct the problem promptly.