We would hereby like to inform you about the latest available updates on the BREXIT proceedings.
As of today the indicative timeline forecasts a transitional period which should start at the effective Brexit date (which has yet to be confirmed, but should be at the latest on 30th of March 2019).
The proposals that are currently being discussed are notably the following:
- In order to safeguard the legitimate expectations of the trademark owners, the existing trademark rights and scope of protection should be maintained insofar as possible and the current unitary system covering the 27 remaining EU members and the United Kingdom should be modified as little as possible.
- As for the existing European Union Trademark Rights (EUTM) and Registered Community Designs (RCD) registered before the effective Brexit date, these should be automatically « converted » into parallel UK rights that would have the same dates of application, priority, renewal etc. and also an identical scope of protection. This way there would be no need for a formal « opt-in » decision from existing EUTM and RCD holders, no additional costs would arise and no re-examinations of the rights concerned would be necessary by the UK Intellectual Property Office (UKIPO). There should also be no impact from Brexit on use obligations of EUTM registrations, and no loss of seniority validly claimed based on former UK national TM rights.
- Concerning EUTM applications pending on the effective Brexit date it will depend on if the examination was completed by EUIPO before this date, in which case EUIPO should deal with any potential oppositions, or if it is still being examined at the effective Brexit date, in which case the EUTM should proceed at EUIPO for EU27 and UKIPO for the National UK Trademark Application.
We will keep you updated on any further advancements of the present matter and remain at your disposal for any complementary information you might require.
Olivier LAIDEBEUR & Juliane FROMM