EU Trademarks Post-Brexit: Now What?

On 31 January 2020, the United Kingdom officially left the European Union. However, the withdrawal agreement concluded between the EU and the UK provides for a transition period until 31 December 2020, during which time EU law remains in force in the UK. This transition period applies to, among other things, the EU Trademark Regulation as well as its implementing regulations.

As a result, until the end of 2020, existing EU trademark registrations will not be adversely affected. In particular, as of 1 January 2021, holders of valid EU trademark registrations will automatically acquire an equivalent right in the form of a UK trademark registration based on UK national trademark law. No official fee will be charged to the trademark holder for the automatic creation of this “mirrored” UK trademark registration.

If the holder’s EU trademark registration is set to expire prior to 31 December 2020, the corresponding UK trademark registration will not be automatically created, and as a result, if protection under such EU registration is desired in the UK, a separate application must be filed in the UK with usual registration fees being charged.

If the EU trademark is not registered but merely pending as of 31 December 2020, the applicant may request that the equivalent UK application be filed, with the deadline to make such requests being 30 September 2021.

If you own an EU trademark registration and have questions as to how these rules may affect your rights, please contact a member of KMK's Intellectual Property Group.

Tags: Brexit

KMK Law articles and blog posts are intended to bring attention to developments in the law and are not intended as legal advice for any particular client or any particular situation. The laws/regulations and interpretations thereof are evolving and subject to change. Although we will attempt to update articles/blog posts for material changes, the article/post may not reflect changes in laws/regulations or guidance issued after the date the article/post was published. Please consult with counsel of your choice regarding any specific questions you may have.

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