No-deal Brexit - the legal rights of EU trademark and EU design right holders

It is still not certain whether the UK and the EU will manage to secure a Brexit agreement prior to Brexit (on 29 March 2019). Consequently, the UK government has published guidance establishing the legal rights in case of a no deal Brexit scenario, including for EU trademark and EU design right holders. The EU trademark and EU design right holders can look forward to the continued protection of EU trademarks and EU designs in the UK.

Basically, the UK government ensures that:

  • EU trademarks and EU designs, registered before Brexit, will continue to be protected and to be enforceable in the UK, by providing an equivalent trademark or design registered in the UK. The continuation will be provided with minimal administrative burden. It is possible to opt out.

  • Companies or persons with a pending application for an EU trademark or an EU design at the point of Brexit (29 March 2019) will be able to refile, within nine months from the date of Brexit, to apply for the same protections in the UK. The applicant will retain the EU application date of the applicant's "original" application for registration of an EU trademark or EU designs. When filing the application with the UK authorities, the right holder will need to meet the cost of refiling the application in accordance with the UK application fee structure.

  • The UK will work with the WIPO to provide continued protection in the UK of trademarks and designs filed through the Madrid and Hague systems and which designate the EU.

  • Unregistered EU designs will continue to be protected in the UK after Brexit for the remaining period of protection of the right. The UK will also create a new unregistered design right in UK law which mirrors the current characteristics of the unregistered EU designs.

Plesner will follow the further developments closely and will continue to supply information on the subject.

You can read the UK government's guidance of 24 September 2018 on the continued protection of registered trademarks and designs in the UK here.

You can read more about Plesner's Brexit Task Force and other Brexit news here.

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