Please see the latest news on the Brexit negotiations about IP matters, especially on trademark and design rights.
On 23 June 2016 the United Kingdom decided to withdraw from the European Union. Nearly one year later, on 29 March 2017, the EU member states received official notification of the intention of the United Kingdom to leave the European Union. Negotiations about the exit are currently in progress.
Draft withdrawal agreement
On 19 March 2018 the negotiators for the United Kingdom and the European Union proposed a draft withdrawal agreement reflecting the current progress in the talks. Title IV (articles 50 through 57) of the document comprises the provisions relating to Intellectual Property. Sections of the agreement highlighted in colour have already been agreed between both parties. The text reveals that parties have now reached agreement on several IP issues. On trademark and design rights we will briefly summarize the following regarding EU trademark registrations and (registered or unregistered) Community designs:
- EU trademark registrations and registered Community designs will be registered for the United Kingdom by the UKIPO as national trademarks or designs at the end of the transition period. This will take place automatically, without any action being required from the holder of the respective trademark or design. Only upon renewing the EU trademark or the registered community design with the EUIPO, will the holder need to renew the corresponding British trademark/design at UKIPO as well.
- Regarding unregistered Community designs, the draft withdrawal agreement indicates that they will legally remain in effect as national unregistered design rights in the United Kingdom. The protective scope and duration of these corresponding national rights will at least be equal to those of the unregistered Community designs.
Joint statement from interest associations
Various interest associations dedicated to trademark and design rights have published a Joint Statement in response to this publication of the draft withdrawal agreement by de European Commission. In this statement the associations examine possible challenges that the exit by the United Kingdom from the European Union may entail, with respect to EU trademarks and registered and unregistered Community designs. In the Statement they also formulate solutions to the challenges identified.
Would you like more information on the progress of the negotiations and a list of relevant documents? Please see the links below:
- Special Brexit page on the European Commission website: ec.europa.eu/info/Brexit.en
- Also on the website of the European Council of the European Union, a timeline specifically addresses Brexit, charting the course of the Brexit negotiations.
We will continue to track developments regarding Brexit and the implications for trademark and design rights and will provide more information, as soon as it becomes available.