UPDATE: Brexit and Trade Mark Protection in the European Union
Brexit was initially supposed to occur on 29 March 2019, which was then delayed to 12 April 2019. Still, no deal had been reached between the European Union (EU) and the United Kingdom (UK). To avoid the messy cliff-hanger if Brexit proceeded then, the EU granted the UK until 31 October 2019 to officialise a withdrawal agreement.
During this period, the UK will continue to be part of the EU Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO) regime and receive the protection of EU trade mark and design registrations.
Your UK trade marks will continue to be protected under the EU community trade mark regime until 31 October 2019.
Once a withdrawal agreement has been ratified by that date, there will be another transitional period until at least January 2021 (or later), where nothing changes, and the UK remains in the EUIPO system.
What Happens after January 2021 and Brexit?
Although the UK’s political position is uncertain, EU design and trade mark rights will continue to be maintained and mirrored in the UK after Brexit.
Two key features illustrate this point:
1) New UK trade mark and design registrations reflecting their EU counterparts will be automatically created.
2) Owners of pending EU trade mark and design applications will have 9 months to file corresponding UK applications containing the same filing and priority dates.
How Can We Help?
As UK trade marks and designs would continue to remain a part of the EUIPO regime for quite some time, future applications should be made with that in mind. That is, applicants can proceed as usual until further Brexit-related changes occur.
Contact us now if you have queries regarding how you may protect your trade mark in the EU or the UK. Please see our previous article regarding the effect of Brexit on trade marks for a complete understanding of Brexit’s impact on trade marks.
This article intends to outline some of the trade mark issues that you may need to address with your legal counsel when protecting or advertising your trade mark. It does not go into great depth with the subject matter, but offers useful insights into the basics. It is not legal advice and it is not exhaustive of all laws and issues that may apply to your particular business. Qualified legal counsel should review the details of your trade mark protection or advertisement in the relevant jurisdictions.