Having left the European Union, the UK is now in a transition period which is scheduled to end on 31 December 2020.
What does this mean for European Union trade marks registered prior to 31 December 2020?
After the transition period ends on 31 December 2020, European Union (EU) trade mark registrations will no longer extend to the UK; however, all existing EU registrations will be automatically cloned by the Intellectual Property Office of the United Kingdom into equivalent UK registrations. The cloned UK registration will retain the same filing and registration details as the original EU registration, as well as any priority and seniority claims. This will ensure that the trade mark registrations will continue to be protected in the UK.
What does this mean for European Union trade mark applications that remain pending after 31 December 2020?
EU trade mark applications that remain pending after the transition period ends on 31 December 2020 will cease to have effect in the UK and will not be automatically cloned into an equivalent UK application.
Action will therefore need to be taken by the trade mark applicant to formally re-file a UK trade mark application. The UK application will need to be re-filed within nine months after 31 December 2020 in order to retain the same filing date as the original EU application.
If you have any questions in regards to what the “Brexit” means for your business and your EU trade marks, please do not hesitate to contact us to discuss in further detail.