The United Kingdom’s January 31, 2020 departure from the EU has important implications for owners of EU trademark registrations, EU trademark applicants and potential EU applicants. Until December 31, 2020, The United Kingdom will be in a transition period during which its participation in the European Union trademark system will not change. However, brand owners should keep in mind that:
· On December 31, 2020, UK trademark registrations will issue for all EU trademark registrations still in force and the UK registrations will retain the same priority date and the same renewal dates as the original EU registrations;
· On or before September 30, 2021, owners of EU applications pending as of December 31, 2020 must apply in the UK for the same mark, retaining the same priority date as the corresponding EU application, if they wish to retain those rights in the UK.
No action will need to be taken for international registrations designating the EU if they have been granted protection on or before December 31, 2020; they will be protected in the UK for as long as they remain in force.However, if the time to claim priority to a basic application will expire before December 31, 2020 and the EU has not yet granted protection, it may be prudent to subsequently designate the UK as well.
Meanwhile, any court proceedings instituted on or before December 31, 2020 will remain under the jurisdiction provisions of the EU Trademark Regulation and the Community Design Regulation, regardless of when those proceedings are finalized.
We encourage brand owners to carefully monitor the status of their current registrations and pending applications to avoid complications for their trademarks. For more information and guidance on how Brexit will impact your brand, please reach us at firstname.lastname@example.org.