The Government has released a paper looking at the implications for trade marks and design in the event of a ‘no deal’ Brexit.
The Government has promised to ensure that the property rights in all existing registered EU trade marks and registered Community designs will continue to be protected and to be enforceable in the UK by providing an equivalent trade mark or design registered in the UK.
According to the document, businesses that have applications for an EU trade mark or Community design which are ongoing at the point of the UK’s exit from the EU – currently 29 March 2019 – will have a period of nine months from the date of exit to apply in the UK for the same protections, retaining the date of the EU application for priority purposes.
Additionally The Government will work, including with the World Intellectual Property Organization, to provide continued protection in the UK after March 2019 of trade marks and designs filed through the Madrid and Hague systems and which designate the EU.
Right holders with an existing EU trade mark or registered Community design will have a new UK equivalent right granted that will come into force at the point of the UK’s exit from the EU. The new UK right will be provided with minimal administrative burden. The trade mark or design will then be treated as if it had been applied for and registered under UK law. This means that these trade marks and designs:
- will be subject to renewal in the UK;
- can form the basis for proceedings before the UK Courts and the Intellectual Property Office’s Tribunal; and
- can be assigned and licensed independently from the EU right
After exit, business, organisations and individuals with EU trade mark and Community design applications which are ongoing at the date of exit will be able to refile with the Intellectual Property Office under the same terms for a UK equivalent right, using the normal application process for registered trade marks and registered designs in the UK.
The Government is adamant that a ‘no deal’ scenario “remains unlikely” given the mutual interests of the UK and the EU in securing a deal.
Further details are available online here