EU law will stop applying in the UK on 31st December 2020 due to Brexit. This will of course have its implications on the EU trademark system as we know it. The UK officials have given guidelines regarding the applicability of trademarks registered within the EU.
If you already have a registered EUIPO (European union intellectual property office) trademark or an international trademark protected in the EU under the Madrid Protocol (WIPO), the United Kingdom intellectual property office will automatically create a comparable UK trademark, which will be recorded on the UK register. The UK trademark will be recorded with the same details as the EUIPO trademark so registration dates and classification will be identical, and there is no extra cost.
If you hold a pending EU trademark application or an international trademark application designated in the EU under the Madrid Protocol (WIPO), on the 31st December 2020, the application will no longer cover the UK. You can file a national UK trademark registration separately within 9 months starting on the 1st January 2021. If you apply for the UK national trademark within this period, the UK trademark applications will have the same filing and priority dates as the original EU trademark application or international application and the scope of the goods and services must be kept the same or narrower so it is not possible to file additional goods and services if you wish to take advantage of the prior registration date.
Do note that national UK trademark cannot be used as a basis for opposition of an EU trademark after 31st December 2020. Therefore, if you were thinking of applying for a trademark but there was a UK national trademark that could have caused some issues, you can file it in EUIPO soon.
Wanting to know more? Our experts are always happy to help!
Markus Myhrberg, Partner, Head of Practice, tel. +358 40 505 5343, email: [email protected]
Maria Storey, Associate, tel. +358 40 743 2222, email: [email protected]