Brexit: Official time period to extend transition period has now expired - how will EU Trade Marks be affected?

United Kingdom

The deadline to extend the time-limited Brexit transition period has now passed and this period is expected to end at 11pm on 31 December 2020 (‘Exit Day’).

The UK ceased to be a member of the EU on 31 January 2020. In line with the Withdrawal Agreement between the EU and the UK, and the European Union (Withdrawal Agreement) Act 2020, the UK is currently in a transition period which aims to ensure that EU law continues to apply to the UK and that EU rules continue to be interpreted and applied consistently in the EU and UK. 

The Withdrawal Agreement intends to ensure that there are no changes to EU trade mark applications, registrations, or proceedings relating to EU trade marks until Exit Day and contains provisions that aim to ensure a continuity of trade mark rights in the EU and UK post Exit Day.

We have updated our previous guidance/checklist regarding the changes relating to EU and UK trade marks following the transition period. New UK trade mark registrations equivalent to existing EU trade mark registrations as well as equivalent to existing International Trade Mark Registrations designating the EU will be created on Exit Day.

The EU and the UK are in the process of negotiating a future partnership. Both the EU Commission Draft text of the Agreement on the New Partnership between the EU and the UK dated 18 March 2020 and the UK’s draft working text for a comprehensive Free Trade Agreement between the United Kingdom and the European Union include provisions relating to Intellectual Property law including trade marks. The EU hopes to conclude negotiations ahead of the European Council summit on 15-16 October 2020 to ensure sufficient time for the ratification of any agreement by both the European Parliament and the British Parliament. If no agreement is reached the UK will fall back on WTO rules after Exit Day. 

Please see below link for the checklists table in PDF format:

Brexit planning - Trade Marks