April 2018. What will happen to EU trademark registrations when Brexit becomes a reality on 30 March 2019? It’s a question that keeps many trademark owners awake at night. Last week, the European Commission and UK government announced a draft agreement, the main elements of which (in relation to trademarks) are outlined below.
Registered EU trademarks*
Essentially, if you own a registered EU trademark, you won’t have to worry when Brexit takes effect on 30 March 2019. Your trademark will continue to be valid in the UK until 31 December 2020. After that, you will automatically be given national UK trademark rights which are identical to your existing EU rights. From then on, the EU trademark itself will no longer be valid in the UK (*this also applies to EU design rights).
Applications pending for EU trademarks
If your application for an EU trademark has not yet been completed by 31 December 2020, the UK will fall outside your European coverage from that date on. You will however be given the opportunity to submit a corresponding UK national application within nine months (i.e. up to 30 September 2021) in which you can claim priority or seniority from its EU application.
All of which is good news for trademark owners, in our view. If you’d like more information, please feel free to get in touch with us and we’ll keep you posted about ongoing developments. Chiever clients will also of course be sent an overview of the relevant registrations well in advance.