Add trademarks to your “what if there’s no Brexit deal” to-do list
As if the current chaos in the United Kingdom’s government weren’t enough, companies have to think about what happens to their European Union trademarks in the increasingly likely event that the UK crashes out of the continental union without a deal?
Don’t worry too much, say Dechert lawyers in a recent client note.
The lawyers says that once the UK leaves the EU, existing EU trade marks (EUTMs) will no longer cover the UK. But they add that the British government has stated that existing EUTM registrations will effectively be “cloned” so that right holders will be granted a new UK equivalent trade mark. And that UK mark will come into force at the time of the UK’s exit from the EU.
But that’s only for current marks. EUTMs that are pending at the time of exit will not be subject to the same process. Instead, applicants will have the opportunity to file for their UK equivalent trade mark using the normal application process for a period of nine months from exit. The authors believe that UK IPO application forms will be amended to include a new section for claiming the earlier filing date of the corresponding EUTM application.
The client note includes some charts for various scenarios. You can view the entire client note, including charts, here.