- If, at the end of the transition period, you had a valid registered EUTM then the UK IPO will create a comparable UK registration automatically and at no cost to you. This new UK mark will retain the filing date of the original EU mark so there will be no gap in protection.
- If, at the end of the transition period, you had a pending EUTM application then you will, as with registered designs, have a nine-month period to September 2021 in which to apply for a mirror UK registration keeping the filing date of the EUTM. You will however have to pay the UK application fees for a new trade mark and the UK application must be identical to the EU application. These comparable marks will also have the same renewal dates as the original EUTMs which could lead to fees having to be paid twice in relatively quick succession.
- Trade marks have to be used to remain valid. Previously use of an EU trade mark in the UK counted as use for the purposes of validity. This will no longer be the case and so if you own an EU mark but currently only offer your goods or services in the UK then you risk losing your EU registration, or at least part of the specification covered, through a lack of use.
Copyright & Patents
Protection of your copyright internationally is governed by international treaties rather than EU laws so protection for copyright works remains largely unchanged by Brexit. There may be some issues around things such as orphan rights and database rights however these are outside the remit of this guide.
Equally, patents are not currently governed by EU laws so the way that patents are applied for and prosecuted will remain largely unchanged. There may be issues around the proposed Unitary Patent and Supplementary Protection Certificates but, again, these are outside the remit of this guide but do not hesitate to contact the authors if you require further input on these or any copyright issues.
1. Check your EU registered rights, whether designs or trade marks, to make sure that the mirror UK rights have been properly created and recorded.
2. If you have pending EU applications, whether for designs or trade marks, make sure you apply for the mirror UK right before the end of the nine-month period for doing so.
3. If you want to maintain your EUTM’s make sure that you are using them in a member state of the Union.
4. If you rely on unregistered rights, consider now which market is more important to you; the UK or the EU and implement a strategy for making your designs public accordingly.
As a result of Brexit many UK law firms can no longer represent clients in respect of their EU intellectual property rights. McDaniels Law have however made arrangements so that they can continue to handle EU issues on behalf of their clients so if you have any questions arising from this guide please do not hesitate to contact the team.