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Amendments to Trademark Laws

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Jan 31, 2019 (Newsletter Issue 1/19)
United Kingdom
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Protection of EU Trademarks and Designs when No Brexit Deal

The UK government informs on the different eventuality, including a no deal scenario:

Existing registered EU trademarks and registered Community designs

- Will continue to be valid in the remaining EU member states
- Protection in the UK will be through a new, equivalent UK right granted with minimal administrative burden
- The Office will notify rights holders by publishing a notification and guidance on its website
- Rights holders will be able to opt out if they do not want to receive an equivalent UK trademark or design
- Provision will be made and information provided regarding the status of ongoing legal disputes involving EU trademarks or registered Community designs before the UK courts

Pending applications for an EU trademark or a registered Community design

- Applicants will not be notified
- After exit they will need to consider whether they refile with the Intellectual Property Office (UKIPO) to obtain protection in the UK
- Refiling will take place at the UKIPO under the same terms for a UK equivalent right, using the normal application process in the UK.
- Rights holders taking this step will meet the cost of refiling the application in accordance with the UK application fee structure.
- For a period of 9 months from exit, the filing dates and claims to earlier priority and UK seniority recorded on the corresponding EU application will be recognised.

New applications

- Will be eligible to be filed in the UK for UK trademarks and designs as they are now, and at the cost specified in the UK fee structure.
- UK applicants, like EU and third country applicants, will be able to apply for protection in the EU through an EU trademark or registered Community design as they do currently
- Applying for trademark or design protection in the UK can be done via post or online.

Unregistered Community designs

- The unregistered Community design provides a 3 year protection from the date the design is first disclosed within the EU. Unregistered Community designs existing at the Brexit point will continue to be protected and enforceable in the UK for the remaining period of protection of the right.
- The UK will create a new unregistered design right in UK law which mirrors the characteristics of the unregistered Community design ('Supplementary Unregistered Design Right'). Designs disclosed after Brexit will also be protected in the UK under the current terms of the unregistered Community design.

The same provisions will apply to international registrations designating the EU filed with the World Intellectual Property Organisation. Hence there is continued protection in the UK from March 2019 onwards for trademarks and registered designs (filed through the Madrid and Hague Systems, and designating the EU as the area where they apply).

For further information, please check here