The UK’s Withdrawal Agreement Bill has passed in both the House of Commons and the House of Lords, received Royal Assent from the Queen, and been ratified by the European Parliament, paving the way for Brexit to take place on 31 January 2020. Crucially, the spectre of no deal has been averted and there will be a transition period from 1 February 2020 through to 31 December 2020 during which the UK remains part of the EU.
Until the transition period ends, there will be no change for UK holders of EU trade marks: EU trade marks will continue to include the UK and attorneys qualified in the UK will continue to act before the EUIPO.
After the transition period, equivalent UK registrations will automatically be created from existing EU trade mark registrations. For EU trade mark applications pending on 31 December 2020, there will be a 9 month window during which owners can opt for a new UK application with the same details including the same filing and priority dates.
Brexit planning remains important notwithstanding the transition period however; it may, for example, be advisable to file new UK applications alongside EU applications during the transition period.
Whilst we continue to provide advice in the context of specific intellectual property matters, please contact Abida Chaudri and/or Mike Knapper if you have any questions or would like further information.