Brexit : what future for your trademarks and designs ?
Following the rejection of the withdrawal agreement by the British Parliament and in view of the difficulties and major sticking points in the negotiations, the possibility of the United Kingdom leaving the European Union without an agreement ("Hard Brexit") is becoming more and more likely.
In the event of a "No Deal", what would be
the consequences for the owners of trademarks and
designs filed / registered in the European Union ?
The UK Government through the trademark Office has already published a notice providing for the continuation of rights in the United Kingdom. The situation differs according to whether it is an already registered title (1) or a title not yet registered on the date of Brexit (2).
1. Trademarks and Designs registered on the date of Brexit
Owners of European or international effective in the EU trademarks and designs registered before the date of the Brexit (i.e. before next March 29, unless postponement), will obtain an independent British title preserving acquired rights (filing date, priority date, seniority date).
According to the Office, administrative formalities should be minor. The new British title should be published on the Office’s website, which LAVOIX will monitor.
2. Trademarks and Designs filed but not registered yet on the date of Brexit
Owners of European or international effective in the EU trade marks and designs still under examination and not registered on the date of the Brexit will be able to maintain their already acquired rights by filing a new national application in the United Kingdom within 9 months as from the date of the Brexit, i.e. before December 29, 2019 (if the date of March 29 for the Brexit is maintained). Again, LAVOIX will monitor this deadline and shall communicate with its clients in this respect.
Generally speaking, we are monitoring very closely these developments and will take all necessary measures and steps to ensure that our clients' rights are maintained in the United Kingdom.
At this stage, and for new applications that obviously cannot be registered by the Brexit, we reiterate our recommendation to proceed with separate trademark applications in the European Union on the one hand and in the United Kingdom on the other. The same applies, as a precaution, to designs, even if obtaining the title is, in principle and unless Office’s objections, faster.