Brexit, EU and UK trade marks – an update

It has been over three years since the people of the United Kingdom voted to leave the European Union in a divisive referendum. After the original date of leaving on March 29th was extended, it looks probable that the UK will now leave the UK on October 31st. With the UK leaving the EU, they will cease to be part of the EU Community Trade Mark, which offers trade mark protection for all current 28 member states of the EU. The below information is the same regardless of whether the UK exits the European Union with a deal, or leaves in a “No Deal” scenario.

Existing registered trade marks.

If you currently have a registered EU trade mark, you will automatically receive a separate UK trade mark post Brexit at no extra cost. Once the trade mark is up for renewal, both the EU, and new UK trade mark must be renewed separately.

Trade Marks In progress

For those trade marks that have been applied for before October 31st, but have not yet been granted, and are in examination/publication, an automatic UK trade mark will not be given. At this stage, within 9months a separate application for the UK must be filed, with the UK IPO recognising the filing date as of the date of the EU application.

Filing a trade mark after Brexit

Post October 31st, a separate UK trade mark must be filed alongside a EU trade mark if you require protection in the UK.

Current Brexit Position

New Prime Minister Boris Johnson has vowed to take Britain out of the EU with or without a deal on October 31st. However, with previous Brexit deals have been voted down, a new law preventing a no-deal situation, and a very likely general election before the end of 2019, there is a distinct possibility that Brexit may be delayed till 31st January, or possibly longer. Whatever the situation with Brexit, BKIP’s UK office has the expertise to successfully register your trade mark in either the UK or EU.

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