Brexit update: What happens to your trademark right?
| On 31 January 2020, the Brexit took effect and the United Kingdom left the European Union.
There is a transition period until 31 December 2020 during which time all EU laws and regulations will remain in force in the UK. This is what you should know about registered EU trademarks and pending EU trademark applications.
Registered EU trademarks
Are you the holder of an EU trademark? If so, that protection will continue to apply in the UK, at any rate until the end of the transition period. This means that all EU trademark registrations or pending applications that will be granted before 31 December 2020 will remain applicable in the UK.
After Brexit, so as of 1 January 2021, all EU trademarks will automatically acquire a national trademark right in the UK that is equivalent to the EU trademark. This also applies to international registrations that have designation for the EU. The relevant dates and goods and services remain unchanged. This means that your existing EU trademark will no longer be valid in the UK, but you will be granted a separate UK registration.
Pending EU applications
The situation is somewhat different with regard to EU trademark applications. After all, EU applications that have not yet been registered after Brexit will not automatically be converted into a parallel national application in the UK and will also no longer fall within the EU protection. Proactive steps must be taken in order to 'convert' the application into a national British application. If this is done within 9 months after Brexit, therefore before 30 September 2021, a new British application will maintain the application date of the EU application. This also applies to international registrations with a designation for the EU.
We will of course advise you on the best protection strategy for new applications. If you file a new EU trademark application any time soon, it might still be possible to obtain an EU registration with UK protection before the end of this year. If you have any questions on this subject or you wish to discuss a plan of action to ensure protection in the UK is properly arranged, please contact us!
(Please note: the above also applies to EU/Communitydesigns)