The European Union (Withdrawal Agreement) Act 2020 provided the framework for the UK to leave the EU on 31 January 2020. Under the withdrawal agreement, the UK–EU relationship will enter a transition period from 1 February.
During the transition period the EU will treat the UK as if it were a member state
The UK will be bound by EU’s international agreements during transition.
The Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) retains jurisdiction over the UK during the transition period.
Existing business trademarks and brands (or those granted during transition) which are protected in the EU by the end of transition will have protection in the UK.
- Automatic recognition in UK law of existing EU IP rights
- EU trade marks, Community designs and Community plant variety rights are granted comparable UK rights
- Continued protected use of geographical indications & designations of origin
- EU marks will continue to be mutually registered automatically and free of charge by the UK IPO
- There is no need for a UK correspondence address
- The date of registration of a trademark in the EU will mirrored in the UK and protection will be granted in line with the EU registration and renewal dates.
Any application to register an EU trade mark which is not completed by the end of transition will have nine months after registration in the EU to apply for a UK registration which will protect the mark from the original EU filing date.
Lawyers representing parties in legal trademark cases at the end of the transitional period will be entitled to continue representing them for that case only.
Any EU business trading in the UK may be well advised to apply for a UK trademark to ensure it has valid protection for its brand after 2020 and vice versa