Christoph Vischer

Possible effects of BREXIT on the scope of protection of your European Union trademarks

30.01.2018

The EU Commission and the EUIPO have set out the consequences of a BREXIT as they turn out at present by means of the attached mutual notice of December 1, 2017 to the holders of European Union trademarks and Community designs:

As of March 30, 2019, the United Kingdom will no longer be member of the European Union. From this date, European Union trademarks will maintain their validity in the 27 remaining member states (without the United Kingdom). This entails that your European Union trademarks will no longer be in force in the United Kingdom as of March 30, 2019, unless a regulation of extension is concluded in the course of the BREXIT negotiations until that date. The same applies to registered unionwide designs (registered Community designs = RCDs).

Let us hope that a regulation of extension will come about in time in the course of BREXIT and that thus no “legal loss hole” will form.

In case you should hold European Union trademarks and/or registered Community designs, these IP rights could lose their protection in the United Kingdom. Such a “legal loss hole” could be closed by applying for national trademark registrations in the United Kingdom in time before March 30, 2019.

Precautionary applications of national trademarks can already now be a reasonable option, in particular as your European Union trademarks may be exposed to the risk of cancellation for expiry (non-use) if not used in a legally valid manner in the United Kingdom after its exit on March 30, 2019.

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