The Brexit situation

On the 01.2020, we were saying goodbye the United Kingdom...

As you may have heard, the UK has left the European Union and is now no longer a member. In the withdrawal agreement, the UK and the EU negotiated a transition period which will end on 31.12.2020, until which, EU law still applies.

In this article, we explain what is going to happen with trademarks before and after the 31.12.2020, and what you should do if you work in or with the UK. This matter is time sensitive and the you should take action if you have business interests in or with the UK.

What will change for your trademarks?

To the best of our knowledge at the time of writing, during this transition period, ending on 31.12.2020, nothing will change. Trademarks and/or design marks, of which the registration process is finalised during this period, will be valid for the United Kingdom.

Once the transition period is over, the UK will provide a UK trademark to the existing EU trademark and design mark owners, for free. This means that they will become the proud owners of 2 trademarks. They will own their original EU trademarks and/or design marks, which will be valid for the remaining 27 EU countries, and they will own an additional UK trademark and/or design mark.

The "extra" UK trademark or design mark will be considered the same as if it had originally been registered as a UK trademark or design mark . There will be no initial costs for this UK trademark or design mark, however the renewal will need to be made individually for both the UK and the EU trademarks or design marks.

Thankfully, and to simplify the matter, the validity dates - start and end - of the newly granted UK trademarks or design marks will be the same as for the EU trademarks or design counterparts, which includes seniority and priority.

If you work in or with the UK and have not registered your trademark or design mark yet, we suggest that you start the registration process now by clicking here and selecting European Union.

However, EU trademarks or design marks that are registered after the 31.12.2020 will NOT be automatically granted a UK trademark or design mark. The owner will be able to apply within 9 months after 01.01.2021 for a national UK trademark or design mark to keep the protection.

One small upside is that the owner will be granted priority over anyone else, because they have the EU Trademark or design mark. It must be noted that any registration after 01.01.2021 will be charged at standard rates.

Furthermore, to benefit from the automatic granting of the UK trademark or design mark, the EU trademark or design mark needs to be granted BEFORE the 31.12.2020.

We would like to point out that because of the verification process and the opposition period, the registration process must be started before the 15.09.2020, in order to receive the final approval before the 31.12.2020.

Finally, trademark and design mark owners should be aware that both EU and UK trademarks and design marks can be legally challenged individually.

 

GreatBrands can help you through the trademarking process

as we approach the Brexit deadline.

Find out if your brand can be registered

Maximize your chances having your trademark successfully registered and save the cost of going through the registration process, only to find out your brand cannot be registered.

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Brand protection like an insurance. We insure our cars and other valuable possessions against theft, and that is exactly what you are doing by protecting your name, logo and other designs you might create.

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