No Deal Brexit Breakdown: Community designs and trade marks
Written by Ellis Sweetenham on 02 October 2018« Return to Reading Room
With Brexit looming and the potential of a No Deal Brexit very real, it is important to sit up, take note and take action in respect of your IP.
Here at Lawdit, we have produced a series of articles to allow you to pinpoint the impact on your IP portfolio, no matter what that includes.
Please check out the other articles in the series, which will already be or coming up on the reading room.
Trade marks and community designs, being a registered system, are the most harmonised of the IP rights within the UK and EU.
Therefore, you would think this would make the transition smoother but at this stage, we cannot take anything for granted.
The UK Government have released some guidance on this and confirmed the following:
- Existing EU trade marks and registered Community designs will remain valid in the remaining member states of the EU
- An equivalent UK right will be granted with a minimum administrative burden to existing EU trade marks and Community designs.
- The new UK right system will notify those right holders effected and give the option to opt out.
- Those with pending applications at the point of exit, will have the opportunity to refile in the UK within 9 months from the date of exit and claim priority but will not be notified of a new right being created.
- UK applicants will still be able to file applications with the EU Intellectual Property Office as they do now.
The guidance also states that the UK Government is currently working with the World Intellectual Property Organisation to ensure continued protection through the Madrid and Hague systems from exit day.
There are certainly some questions circling, specifically in respect of the practicalities of the new UK rights being granted, possibly without examination, and the impact of timescales such as the non-use period of 5 years.
Unregistered Community Designs
As unregistered designs are under a different system, they need to also be considered.
It has been confirmed that UK and EU designers will be provided with continued protection for designs disclosed before the exit day and already protected.
Through the new supplementary unregistered design right created after exit day, designs which are disclosed in the UK after the exit will be protected in the UK under the current terms of the unregistered Community design.
- Existing unregistered Community designs will continue to be valid in the remaining EU member states
- Protection of existing unregistered Community designs in the UK will be provided for with no action required by the right holder
- Provisions will be made regarding the status of legal disputes involving unregistered Community designs which are ongoing before UK courts
Thankfully this seems to be well organised if a No Deal Brexit was to occur, but who knows what is around the corner.
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