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Brexit and Trade Marks: An Update

With all that has gone on this year, it might be easy to forget that Brexit is only around the corner.

From 1 January 2021 all EU trade mark registrations will no longer cover the UK.

However, all EU trade marks that have been registered before 31 December 2020 or ‘IP Completion Day’, will be automatically converted by the UK Intellectual Property Office into their own fully independent UK trade mark holding the original EU trade mark filing date. There will be no additional fees to pay.

If an EU trade mark application has not been registered by 31 December 2020 then there will be no automatic conversation to a UK trade mark. However, applicants have 9 months from IP Completion Day to file a corresponding UK trade mark which would preserve the filing and priority date of its EU trade mark counterpart.

If an EU trade mark owner does not need a UK converted trade mark then it can opt out of registration.

It is important to note that the EU trade mark and the new UK converted trade marks will need to be separately renewed.

Those considering applying for new trade marks should be aware that an EU trade mark application will not be registered in time prior to IP Completion Day. Therefore, separate applications for the EU and UK must be filed if protection is required in both jurisdictions.

If you are considering applying for an UK trade mark, you should do so without delay as it is inevitable that there will be delays caused by Brexit at the UK Intellectual Property Office.

If you would like a review on new trade mark applications or your current IP portfolio, please speak to one of our expert Brand Protection solicitors on 01753 876800 or email law@owenwhite.com.

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