The still ongoing negotiations regarding Brexit create uncertainty in various sectors. For brand owners it is especially crucial to get final answers and plan ahead to safeguard their IP rights. Taking proactive steps instead of waiting is highly recommended.
With regards to registered European Trademarks, brand owners have the most straightforward solution. These rights will continue to be registered in the UK as national trademarks, keeping the original priority date. According to recent information, the UK Government has promised a minimal administrative burden with regards to the procedure, which has made some parties stipulate that there would not be any fees. This is however not confirmed yet.
- Keep in mind that after the change, renewal fees for these trademark are to be paid separately in the UK!
Brand owners have to reapply for those trademarks which are still pending before 29 March 2019 and they will have equivalent rights in the UK. These applications will keep the original filing date at the EUIPO.
- Keep in mind that there is a 9 month deadline for the applications and neither the UK Trademark Office nor the EUIPO will send reminders regarding this!
The exit is only couple of months away and there is still uncertainty around the deal that will be made between the EU and the UK. Therefore it is probably for the best to file national applications in the UK parallel to any EUIPO applications from now on.
The same principles will apply to European design applications. Designs disclosed in the UK can only be regarded as unregistered Community designs if they have been disclosed before the date of withdrawal.
In light of above, it is time to review your existing portfolios and plan a new filing strategy accordingly. Valea will advise all of their clients in order to help them secure appropriate IP protection in the EU and the United Kingdom.