Brexit has been an extended story and the deadline is fast approaching. In the end of December 2020, the transitional rules expire – what happens next?
Here is what you need to know about Brexit, which dates you need to consider and how this may affect your trademark.
New EU trademarks
The biggest change after Brexit, on the trademark side, is that new EU trademarks will not receive protection in the United Kingdom. After the 1st of January, a national application will be required (similar to e.g. Norway and Switzerland today) to secure its protection in the UK
Already registered EU trademarks
In the case of already registered EU trademarks, these will be cloned into UK trademarks with the same rights as the registered EU trademark. This will take place on 1 January 2021. The UK trademark registration will then be an independent national trademark registration, which means that it will be treated like any other national trademark registration.
For those of our clients, which EU trademarks we handle, we make sure to administer all this in the right way.
Ongoing EU trademark applications
However, other conditions apply for ongoing EU trademark applications which have not yet been approved by the end date of the transition period (31 December 2020). For these ongoing EU applications, you will need to actively submit a new separate application to UKIPO within nine months of the transition period’s end date to receive comparable protection in the UK.
If you do this, your application will be processed as a national application with the same application date as your EU application as long as the application refers to an identical brand with identical goods/services as the original application.
The conversion thus does not take place automatically, as for an already registered trademark, but it is required that the trademark owner submits a request to UKIPO (the United Kingdom’s counterpart to the Swedish Intellectual Property Office, PRV).
In terms of domain names, the impact is not as extensive. Rules for .uk and .co.uk domains are intact. The big difference we already know though is that national companies (UK registered) will no longer be able to own .eu domains.