Brexit will have an effect on intellectual property (IP) rights. The nature of that effect may not be as dramatic as some have speculated but will be determined by the agreement now being negotiated between the UK Government and the European Union (EU). The situation is different for different IP rights.
Brexit has been delayed until 31 October 2019, subject to further negotiations.
While political uncertainty still clouds the manner and timing of Brexit, the position on IP rights remains as previously advised. The UK Government has issued some guidance on the likely impact on IP rights. Appleyard Lees is monitoring developments closely, but at this stage we do not recommend any immediate action.
European Patents – Not Affected
SPCs – Protection Framework Maintained
European Registered Trade Marks – Protection Continues – UK Rights will be Cloned
European Registered Community Designs – Protection Continues – UK Rights will be Cloned
Pending EU Applications – Backdated Filings Possible for 9 Months
When the United Kingdom leaves the European Union, new national UK rights will be created.
This note explains how you can ensure that the new UK rights are managed by a UK representative.
Q: What is happening?
All trade marks and designs registered with the European Union Intellectual Property Office will be automatically cloned and assigned a unique registration number when the UK leaves the EU.
The new rights will be called “comparable” UK rights. The new comparable UK rights will be fully independent UK trade marks and designs which can be enforced, challenged, assigned, licensed or renewed, separately from the original EU rights.
Q: Do trade mark and design owners have to do anything to ensure they qualify for the new comparable UK rights?
No, if the trade mark or design is registered on Brexit day. If the trade mark or design is pending on Brexit day then new applications will need to be filed in the UK.
Q: Will a new registration number be issued? What about a registration certificate?
A new registration number will be issued. No registration certificate will be issued.
Q: Will any of the dates be affected?
The new comparable UK rights will be recorded on the UK register and retain the filing dates recorded against the corresponding EU right. They will also inherit any priority and/or seniority dates.
Q: How much will it cost? Are any documents required?
There will be no cost if you would like us to arrange appointment as UK representative.
No power of attorney is required and your email confirmation will be sufficient.
Q: Many of my clients’ EU trade marks and designs have a non-UK representative.
What do I need to do next?
To appoint a UK representative in relation to the new comparable UK rights then you simply need to confirm the name of the registered owner and the numbers of the EU trade marks or designs.
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