Effects of Brexit on EU trademarks and EU designs
Since the UK referendum of June 23rd 2016 on the withdrawal of Great Britain from the European Union (BREXIT), the question arises for the holders of EU trade marks and EU designs (Community designs) whether EU trade marks and Community designs will lose their effect in the United Kingdom when the withdrawal takes place on March 29th 2019. In a publication of July 23rd 2018, the British government now informs on its website that regardless of how the withdrawal from the European Union will be implemented in practice, the government's goal is to minimize the negative impact on companies and to ensure a smooth transition. This even applies in the event that there is no timely agreement between the United Kingdom and the European Union on the details of BREXIT.
As regards EU trade marks and Community designs, this means that the British Government is seeking continuity of protection.
The loss of industrial property rights should be avoided. Details are still being negotiated between the British Government and the European Union. It is planned to transfer registered EU trade marks and Community designs automatically and free of charge into national rights.
As things stand at present, there is therefore no acute need for holders of EU trade marks and registered Community designs to apply for national rights in the United Kingdom in addition to existing EU trade marks and Community designs. If you want to be sure, however, you should continue to pursue a twin-track strategy for important industrial property rights, since the announcement by the British government is not yet a legally binding regulation.
Up-to-date information on the Brexit and its impact on industrial property rights can be found on the UK Government's website.