EU Commission confirms trade mark position if no Brexit agreement
Since the UK voted to leave the EU on 23rd June 2016, the world of IP has been a flutter with worries as to the future of EU trade marks and whether there will be a continuing connection with the UK.
There has been no confirmation given as to whether EU trade mark owners will still be covered in the UK, whether any assistance will be given from the government to aid the IP transition or whether applications can still be made in the way in which it is now.
As of yet, no Brexit deal in respect of IP has been reached and therefore there is still a high level of uncertainly.
However, it seems the EU Commission has at least confirmed the ‘if all else fails’ position.
If no Brexit agreement is reached during the two-year negotiation period, which commenced on 29th March 2017, EU trade marks will no longer cover the UK.
The notice issued by the EU Commission and signed by the EU Intellectual Property Office stated
“Subject to any transitional arrangement that may be contained in a possible withdrawal agreement, as of the withdrawal date, EU rules on EU trademarks (EUTMs) and Community designs will no longer apply to the UK,”
The notice also went on to say that any application for an EUTM or a Community design pending before the withdrawal date will no longer cover the UK from that date.
“Any right granted by the EUIPO on or after the withdrawal date will only cover the EU27 member states.”
This is not the news IP owners in the EU were looking to hear but it was to be expected.
This is of course not set in stone and there are still many unanswered questions, including a key question in regards to who is going to foot the bill if EU trade mark owners will need to seek additional protection in the UK.
It will be interesting to see how negotiations will progress, as at the moment they are not going according to plan.
There is hope that IP will become a key issue as it has the potential to affect every business across the UK and EU.
If you would like more information on how to protect your business’s brand, contact The Trademarkroom team today.
By Ellis Sweetenham