What happens to EU trademarks/designs when the UK leaves the European Union?
The United Kingdom is expected to leave the European Union (EU) on 29 March 2019 and this means that EU trademark and design registrations will no longer be valid in the UK. It will however be possible to extend the EU right to the UK.
At this point, it is not clear if the UK will leave with or without an agreement with the remaining EU member states. In either case, the extension of the EU right into a national UK right will depend on the status of the EU right on the 29 March 2019 (or if this date is postponed, at the postponed date), in other words if the trademark or design is a registered right or if it is a pending application at the exit date.
For registered trademarks and designs, the EU right will automatically be extended into a national British registration, in a “cloned” registration, which will have the exact same details as the EU registration and most importantly the same priority date. When this “cloning” will happen, depends on whether the UK leaves the EU with a deal or with no deal.
For pending applications, it will be possible to file an application for extension of the EU right into a national UK application, but this application must be filed at the right holders’ own initiative as neither the UK office nor the EU office will take any action in this regard. The deadline for filing such extension application will be 9 months from the UK’s exit, counting from either 29 March 2019 (in case of no-deal) or later (in case of a deal or if the exit date is postponed).
Lundgrens advise on BREXIT and the consequences for IP rights. Please contact Anne Mette Sloth Berner or Birgitte Miller Brinck if you have any questions to trademarks or designs.