As we approach the end of the transition period, during which time the UK was no longer a member of the EU but still followed certain laws and regulations and remained a part of the customs union, this is a reminder that on January 1, 2021, only UK laws will apply.
Editor's note: This article was originally published on January 30, 2020, and has been completely revamped and updated for accuracy and comprehensiveness. The guide included as an additional resource reflects the latest state of information available on December 10, 2020, and is subject to change based on the latest developments and updates. It does not claim to be complete. Please contact us if you want to know more details or need advice.
The implementation period existed to allow UK and EU lawmakers to develop a mutually beneficial trade deal. Such an accord would include changes to Intellectual Property regulations, and the progress of negotiations was watched closely by all. Now, everyone waits with bated breath for the end of these somewhat complicated talks.
The British PM, Boris Johnson, is pushing to get the deal done. He will not extend the December 31 deadline, while the European Commission President, Ursula von der Leyen, expressed skepticism regarding the possibility of a meaningful accord before the end of the transition period.
Needless to say, most aspects of the future of IP rights in the UK, once separated from the European Union, are relatively clear.
European trademarks & designs
On January 1, 2021, the UKIPO will automatically transform registered EU rights into UK comparable rights free of charge. These rights will be assigned new numbers by combining the prefix UK009 (TMs)/9 (Designs) and the last digits of the EU registration number. These national rights will retain the filing date of their corresponding EU right and any priority or UK seniority dates, but there will be no notification or registration certificate issued by the UKIPO. You can also opt out of obtaining this comparable right after January 1, 2021, using the notice template published by the UKIPO.
Concerning pending EUTM applications on January 1, 2021, there will be no automatic national right accorded by the UKIPO. Trademark holders will be obliged to file a new UK application within nine months (i.e., until the end of September 2021) if they wish to claim the priority date of the EU application, and the UK application must be identical to the EU application or with a list of goods & services contained within that application.
Dennemeyer's comprehensive suite of international IP law services offers the full spectrum of coverage and representation you will need to ensure thorough protection of rights to your creations in the UK and EU alike. We have defined a specific EUTM / RCD filing service to assist UK clients when the transition period is over. The concept has been designed for customers that need a cost-effective and proficient way to file their future EUTM's.
No matter how stressful the final separation of the United Kingdom from the EU may be for your business, you can rest assured your IP will be in safe hands with us.
The authors contribute to this blog in their personal capacity. The views expressed are their own and do not necessarily represent the views of Dennemeyer IP Solutions, Dennemeyer & Associates, or Dennemeyer Consulting.