Brexit – Effect on Trade Marks

After years of indecision, the UK left the EU on 31 January 2020. So what does this mean for owners of European Union trade marks?

EU trade marks previously covered the UK. For the rest of 2020, there will be a transition period where they will continue to do so. At that stage, for owners of existing registrations, the UK Intellectual Property Office will automatically create equivalent, identical trade mark registrations that will appear on the UK register. Therefore, nothing further will need to be done, although the new UK registration will now need to be maintained separately.

However, this will only apply to registrations, and not pending applications. Owners of pending applications will need to officially request that their EU mark be recognised in the UK, although there is no need to do anything just yet. At this stage, Applicants will have a nine-month period from the end of the transition period, 31 December 2020 to apply for their EU application to be recognised in the UK.

The above may be affected by any agreement reaching between the EU and UK during the transition period, and the transition period may yet be extended. We continue to monitor the situation for any developments.

If you do have a trade mark in the EU, Zone will be in touch as Brexit progresses.