Brexit took place on 1 February 2020, but the Withdrawal Agreement provides for a transition period running until 31 December 2020. During this transition period, EU law continues to apply to and in the United Kingdom (UK). Until that date, nothing will change as regards trademark and design rights. We have set out the current state of affairs below.
Benelux trademarks and designs
When it comes to Benelux trademarks and designs, holders and representatives from the United Kingdom can continue to do official business at BOIP in the usual way during the transition period. Thereafter, however, they must indicate a residence or registered office in the EEA in order to perform official actions at BOIP. If they fail to do so, BOIP will alert them to the procedural error that they have made and, if necessary, set a deadline by which they may comply. You can find more information on this in our previous news item.
EU trademarks and Community designs
EU trademarks and Community designs continue to be valid in the United Kingdom during the transition period. Measures have also been put in place to ensure that trademark and design holders do not lose their existing rights at the end of that period. Basically, registered trademarks and designs will automatically be converted and, in the case of pending applications, an application may be made for the UK within nine months of the end of the transition period, with priority being maintained. More information on this can be found on the EUIPO and UKIPO websites. The European Commission, furthermore, has a very extensive web page covering the consequences of Brexit, which contains a document on trademarks and designs.
Naturally, we are monitoring Brexit developments closely. As soon as there is more news, we will inform you on our website. If you have questions further to this message, please do not hesitate to contact our Information Centre.