Trade and Service Marks

– Trade Mark Act No. 45/1997, in force since June 1, 1997, last amended by Act No. 71/2020 of June 24, 2020, in force since September 1, 2020.
– Collective Marks Act No. 155/2002, in force since December 18, 2002.
– Regulation No. 850/2020 on the Registration of Trade Marks, Company Marks and Warranty and Quality Marks, in force since August 28, 2020.

Membership in International Conventions

– Paris Convention for the Protection of Industrial Property, Stockholm Act.
– Convention Establishing the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO), since September 13, 1986.
– WTO’s TRIPS Agreement, since January 1, 1995.
– Nice Agreement Concerning the International Classification of Goods and Services, as amended in 1979, since April 9, 1995.
– Protocol Relating to the Madrid Agreement Concerning the International Registration of Marks, since April 15, 1997.
– The Hague Convention Abolishing the Requirement of Legalization for Foreign Public Documents (Apostille), since November 27, 2004.
– Singapore Treaty on the Law of Trademarks, since December 14, 2012.


Applicant: persons, firms or companies carrying on trade or business. Holding companies can be applicants. 

Applicants not living in the country: must appoint a representative residing in the European Economic Area.

Types of trade (or service) marks: all signs capable of distinguishing the applicant's goods/services from the goods/services of others, such as words or word combinations, including slogans, persons' names, company or property names; letters and numerals; pictures and drawings; the getup or packaging of goods; colors; sounds; holograms; animations. Collective marks are registrable.

Registrability: a trademark must be suitable to distinguish the goods/services of the proprietor from the goods/services of others. A mark which wholly or with merely insignificant alterations or additions denotes the nature, quality, quantity, use, price, origin or the time of manufacture of the goods is considered to be “descriptive”. The same applies to signs or word combinations, which are common in business or form part of daily speech. Such a mark does therefore not meet the requirements of the Trade Marks Act concerning distinctiveness and is considered unregistrable. In determining whether a mark is sufficiently distinctive all relevant circumstances must be considered, particularly the length of time and extent to which the mark has been used.

Unregistrable marks: a trademark shall not be registered: (1) if it contains, without due authority, State emblems, official international symbols, Icelandic municipal emblems, official control and guarantee signs, special descriptions indicating said symbols or emblems or any subject matter which can be confused with the above; (2) if the mark is likely to deceive; (3) if the mark is against law or public order; (4) if the mark contains intimations which are likely to be construed as the name of an active firm or name or portrait of another party; (5) if the mark contains intimations which are likely to be construed as the distinctive title of the protected literary or artistic work of another party, or if it infringes copyright or other intellectual property rights; (6) if the mark is likely to be confused with another already registered mark, or a mark which was in use in Iceland at the time of filing an application; (7) if the mark is likely to be confused with another mark which was considered well-known in Iceland at the time of filing an application; (8) if the mark is liable to be confused with an International Trademark Registration, provided said registration became valid in Iceland before an application was filed. Despite the provisions in items (4)-(8), registration can be granted if the consent of the owner of the trademark, or other right owners, has been obtained.

Priority: Convention applications must be filed within six months of the date of the basic application.

Classification: the 34 classes of goods and 11 classes of services according to the International Classification System of the Nice Agreement. One application can contain more than one class, provided the stipulated fee for each extra class is paid. However, whole class coverage is not allowed, so either the specific goods of interest to the applicant, or the class headings according to the International Classification system, must be listed.

Filing requirements for an application (to be sent to resident agent):
1. Certified copy of the home registration for countries which are not party to the Paris Convention;
2. Preferably 6 prints of device marks (maximum size 8 x 8 cm) or a digital copy of the mark.

Note: as of January 1, 2008, applicants do not need to file a power of attorney when filing new trademark applications, if their representative has requested to the Icelandic Intellectual Property Office (ISIPO) to be excused from filing a power of attorney for applications. Such request is granted if the attorney fulfills specified requirements set by the ISIPO.

Electronic filing: available.


Amendment of application: only restriction possible. Therefore, since whole class coverage is not allowed, careful preparation of list of goods/services is highly recommended. 

Examination: as to form, distinctiveness and the above items (1)-(8) of non-registrability, all relevant circumstances being taken into consideration. 

Observations: any third party may file observations prior to registration.

Registration: if, after the completion of the examination, a trademark has been found registrable, it is registered. The registration is published shortly thereafter in the ISIPO Gazette, at which time the opposition period of two months starts, and a registration certificate is issued. 

Letters of opposition: must be filed within two months of the publication of the new registration.

Letters of consent: may be accepted. 

Disputes about ownership: are settled by the courts. 

Secrecy period: none. 

Appeal: the parties involved can appeal the ISIPO’s decisions to the Board of Appeals, within two months of the ISIPO’s decision. The ISIPO’s or Board of Appeals’ decisions can be taken to the courts by initiating litigation, which must be done within three months of the relevant decision.

Granting, Protection

Beginning of protection: from filing/priority date. 

Duration: ten years from the filing date.

Renewal: for a period of ten years. Renewal requests can be filed during the period from six months before to six months after the due date.

Use: if the owner of a registered trademark has not, within five years of the registration date, used the trademark in Iceland for the protected goods/services or if a trademark has not been used consecutively for five years, the registration can be cancelled either by a decision by the ISIPO or by court decision, unless valid reasons for non-use exist.

Cancellation: registrations can be cancelled either by ISIPO decisions or by court decisions when a trademark: (1) is not used; (2) has, through the activity or inactivity of its owner, acquired general meaning for goods/services in the field covered by the registration; (3) is used in a way to deceive as to type, condition or origin of the goods/services. Anyone with a legitimate interest can demand that the ISIPO cancels a registration upon proof that its owner has ceased business operations.

Marking of registered goods: not compulsory, but usual. 

Licenses: are recorded in the Trademark Register upon the request of the registered owner or licensee. 

Assignment: a trademark can be assigned with or without the business in which it is used. A recordal of an assignment is recorded in the Trademark Register after an assignment document has been filed. Recordals of assignments are compulsory.

Validation of lapsed marks: may be effected by new application and registration. 

Penalty for infringement: damages and fine.