With the deadline for leaving the EU moved back until 31 January 2020 and we are still no clearer, from a political point of view, as to what will happen. In relation to IP rights at least we can give some guidance.
If the UK leaves the EU with a deal
If this happens, we enter into a long transition period when the UK has formally left the EU, but the UK remains part of the EU IPO system. The UK will be covered by an EU Trade Mark and UK Attorneys will still be able to represent at the EU IPO. Therefore no immediate change occurs.
If the UK leaves the EU without a deal
If this happens the UK would leave the EU IPO system on that date. If this happens your Intellectual property rights may be affected.
In the event of a no deal Brexit there will be no change to UK trade mark registrations. However, any European Registered Trade marks (EUTM) will no longer extend to the UK. The UK government will therefore automatically create a comparable UK trade mark for EUTMs which are registered before the exit day. If the EUTM is still pending on exit day then you can apply to register a comparable UK trade mark within 9 months of the exit day.
Unless subject to any specific conditions. Any licence or security interest that refers to an EUTM and authorises acts in the UK will therefore be treated as if it applies to the comparable UK trade mark.
Similarly to trademarks in the event of a no deal Brexit, the European registered Community Designs and unregistered Community designs will no longer extend to the UK. The UK government will therefore automatically create a comparable UK right for designs which are registered before the exit day.
If you have a registered Community Design which is still pending on exit day then you can apply to register a comparable UK design within 9 months of the exit day.
The European Patent office (EPO) is not an organ of the EU and the European patents convention (EPC) is separate from EU legislation. As such, European patent rights will not be affected.
If you have any concerns please feel free to contact HGF Partner David Potter who can provide you with more details. Our message to our clients continues to be one of “business as usual” as HGF are ideally placed to provide pan-European protection and will continue to represent our clients at both the EU IPO and UK IPO with offices across the UK, The Netherlands, Germany, Ireland, Austria and Switzerland.
For more information visit http://www.hgf.com