4 February 2020
The UK has now left the European Union, but there is no need to panic. The UK has now entered a ‘transition period’ which runs until 31 December 2020. During this transition period all existing EU trade mark and design registrations continue to provide protection in the United Kingdom.
So, what happens next:
At the end of the transition period existing EU trade mark and design registrations will be ‘cloned’ and a new registration created on the UK register that mirrors the existing EU right.
Where a company or an individual has a pending application to register an EU trade mark or design at the end of the transition period then their application will cease to cover the UK. They will, however, be provided with the opportunity to file an equivalent application in the UK and any filing date or priority date of the EU application will be recognized. It is important to note that in order to benefit from the original filing or priority date of the EU application, the new UK application must be filed after the 31 December 2020 and before 30 September 2021.
What should I do?
Pick up the phone and talk to your IP advisers. There are still issues to be considered including the impact on existing disputes, contracts, licenses and agreements. However, there is no need for knee-jerk reactions, you need to understand the impact for your business and what, if any action, you may need to take to ensure you are in the strongest position possible.
It’s also a good opportunity to consider whether your trade mark and design portfolio is currently fit for purpose and covers your key markets.
If you have any questions or concerns, then please do not hesitate to contact us.