Brexit - What is the situation?

What is the situation with intellectual property assets after Brexit

On January 31, 2020, the UK terminated its membership in the EU. What the UK holders of the intellectual property assets and applicants need to know?

From February 1, 2020 to December 31, 2020 in accordance with the Withdrawal Agreement there will exist a transition period during which EU law will continue to operate in the UK. Thereafter, the protection of IP assets, the rights to which are obtained till the end of the transition period, will be extended to the territory of the UK.

Trademarks and Service Marks

The EU trademarks (EUTM), will be re-registered automatically with the UK Intellectual Property Office with maintenance of all priority dates, and will come into effect from January 1, 2021. No trademark certificate will be issued.

However, this procedure will not extend to the applications for registration of EUTM. If the applications for an EUTM are ongoing as at December 31, 2020, the applicants will have a period of 9 months from the end of the transition period to apply in the UK for the same protections, with the maintenance of all priority dates. In order to exercise the mentioned right, the mark in the application should be identical and the goods and/or services must be either identical or covered by the list of European application.

Registered community designs (RCD)

Registered community designs (RCD) will continue to extend to the UK till December 31, 2020, inclusive. These RCD will be re-registered automatically on the territory of the UK, and will come into effect from January 1, 2021.

However, this procedure will not extend to the applications for registration of designs. If the applications for a design are ongoing as at December 31, 2020, the applicants will have a period of 9 months from the end of the transition period to apply in the UK for the same protections.

International registrations designating the European Union

International registrations for trademarks and designs that have been protected before the end of the transition period will continue to be protected in the UK. However, international registrations for trademarks which designate the European Union will not extend to the UK from January 1, 2021.

The UK Intellectual Property Office and WIPO are still discussing whether international registrations which have been protected before the end of the transition period will continue to be protected in the UK after December 31, 2020.

It is possible that international applications pending as of December 31, 2020, inclusive, will be subjected to the same procedure as for EU trademark and design applications.

Patents

A European patent for an invention can be applied for through UK Intellectual Property Office or direct to the European Patent Office (EPO) to protect your patent, using the (non-EU) European Patent Convention (EPC).

As the EPO is not an EU agency, Brexit does not affect the current European patent system. Existing European patents covering the UK are also unaffected.

Copyright

Continued reciprocal protection for copyright works between the UK and the EU is assured by the international treaties on copyright, effect of which does not depend on the relations of the UK with the EU.

Current cross-border copyright arrangements which are unique to EU member states will continue to apply to the UK until the end of the transition period. The status of the mentioned arrangements after the end of the transition period will depend on the future relationship between the UK and EU.

The Withdrawal Agreement ensures any database rights that exist in the EU and UK at the end of the transition period will continue to be recognised in both territories for the remainder of their term.

Excerpt from the website: https://www.gov.uk/government/news/intellectual-property-and-the-transition-period