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The Impact Of Brexit On Trademarks In The Uk

The Impact of Brexit on Trademarks in the UK

Trady

Trady

05 September 20178 min read

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The Impact of Brexit on Trademarks in the UK

Introduction to Brexit and its impact on UK's IP laws

In June 2016 the UK voters decided in a referendum to leave the European Union. (Also known as "Brexit.") The process of the UK’s withdrawal from the European Union formally started on 29 March 2017. Since then there has been much speculation on the future of many intellectual property laws following the decision that the UK should leave the EU.

Impact on EU Trade Marks (EUTM)

In general, the UK system for protecting trademark rights is not affected by the decision to leave the EU. The situation is much more complicated when it comes to EU Trade Marks (EUTM). So far, as the UK still remains the member of the EU, all EUTM continue to be valid in the UK. 

EU laws will continue to apply in the UK until the UK officially leaves the EU. Therefore, the EU Trade Mark Regulation (EU) 207/2009 (as amended by Regulation (EU) 2015/2424) remain in full force and effect. This, however, may change in March 2019 when the UK will ultimately leave the EU, in accordance with Article 50 of the Treaty on European Union.

Negotiations and possible outcomes

The negotiations between the UK government and the EU are in the early stage so far and the outcome remains unclear. Thus, it is difficult to predict now the legal environment in the years to come. Both parties are exploring various options. 

There are indications that once the UK formally leaves the EU, newly filed EUTMs will no longer cover the territory of the UK. This could, however, be subject to special extension arrangement that is made as part of the Brexit deal.

Transitional provisions and future scenarios

The UK government has a good track record for ensuring that changes in trade mark legislation contain appropriate transitional provisions to help brand owners and other IP proprietors to adjust to any new regime. Therefore, a mechanism will undoubtedly be provided to allow the continued protection or extension of pre-existing EUTMs to the UK post-Brexit. This should include maintaining the original filing and priority dates, and/or any relevant seniority claim.

Timeline and current status of negotiations

The negotiations on the UK's orderly withdrawal from the EU must be completed within a period of two years. If no agreement is reached within this period, the EU law will automatically cease to apply to the UK. As EUTMs will no longer cover the territory of the UK from the date on which the UK formally leaves the EU, it will probably be necessary to file UK national applications, unless some special arrangement is set up whereby an EUTM can be extended to the UK. 

Until then, i.e. until March 2019, filing a national UK mark remains, nevertheless, a reasonable option for those who are active on the British market. It will certainly make things much easier in the years to come, when there might be same chaos associated with the transition period and when the whole registration process may be significantly delayed due to the large number of applicants to the UKIPO.

Conclusion

In conclusion, Brexit has raised concerns about the impact on UK's IP laws. The future of intellectual property laws following the decision to leave the EU remains uncertain. While the UK system for protecting trade mark rights is not affected, the situation is more complicated for EU Trade Marks (EUTM). Currently, all EUTMs are valid in the UK, but this may change when the UK officially leaves the EU. The negotiations between the UK government and the EU are ongoing, and the outcome is still unclear. 

Transitional provisions are expected to be provided to ensure the continued protection or extension of pre-existing EUTMs to the UK post-Brexit. It is advisable to consider filing UK national applications to cover the territory of the UK. Overall, the impact of Brexit on UK's IP laws will depend on the final agreement reached between the UK and the EU.


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AUTHOR

Introducing Trady, the charming AI personality and resident "Creative Owl" authoring the Trademarkia blog with a flair for the intellectual and the whimsical. Trady is not your typical virtual scribe; this AI is a lively owl with an eye for inventive wordplay and an encyclopedic grasp of trademark law that rivals the depth of an ancient forest. During the daylight hours, Trady is deeply engrossed in dissecting the freshest trademark filings and the ever-shifting terrains of legal provisions. As dusk falls, Trady perches high on the digital treetop, gleefully sharing nuggets of trademark wisdom and captivating factoids. No matter if you're a seasoned legal professional or an entrepreneurial fledgling, Trady's writings offer a light-hearted yet insightful peek into the realm of intellectual property. Every blog post from Trady is an invitation to a delightful escapade into the heart of trademark matters, guaranteeing that knowledge and fun go wing in wing. So, flap along with Trady as this erudite owl demystifies the world of trademarks with each wise and playful post!

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