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European IP Attorneys


12 November 2020

BREXIT’s impact on trademarks and models.

Following the recent votes of the British parliament and of the European parliament, the United Kingdom left the European Union on the 31st of January 2020. As per the agreement voted between the EU and the United Kingdom, it was the start of a transition period which will end (unless it is extended) on the 31st of December 2020.

So, from the 1st of January 2021, the European rules will no longer be applied in the United Kingdom.

Brexit will have many consequences on community designs & models and on European trademarks. You will find below the main changes to be taken into account, and if more elements that could impact your rights were to be added, we would directly inform you.

Creation of an equivalent British right for registered trademarks, models and designs.

This concerns:

-Registered European trademarks and international trademarks designating the EU;

-Registered and published community designs & models and international designs & models designating the EU.

The owners of registered European trademarks, of registered and published community designs & models, as well as owners of international trademarks and international designs & models designating the EU will benefit from a new, equivalent British right.

This new right:

-Meets the same criteria as the European title: it has the same filing date, covers the same products and services, and protects the same sign or same design…

-Is obtainable without any cost or procedure.

Newly created trademarks, models & designs will thus be treated as if they had been filed and registered under British law. Accordingly, these trademarks, designs and models:

-Will have to be renewed at their expiration date in the UK, even if the European title they’re from has already been renewed.

-Can be used as a basis for conflicts presented before British courts or before the British Intellectual Property Office court.

-Can be licensed or re-licensed, independently of European rights.

Trademarks, designs and models applications:

Applications for European trademarks, for international trademarks designating the EU, for community designs and models or for international designs & models designating the EU, pending on the 31st of December 2020, can be refiled until the 30th of September 2021 before the British Intellectual Property Office to also benefit from an equivalent British right, with the same characteristics as the right from which it comes.

Owners of rights concerned by this procedure will however have to pay the refiling costs of the application before the British intellectual property office.