We were all in such a hurry to see 2020 end that we on the Continent barely noticed this historical event: December 31 also marked the end of the transition period for the Brexit procedure.
For us and our customers, who are concerned by issues of innovation and intellectual property, does this event have concrete consequences and how should we prepare to face them calmly?
Implications for intellectual property
The evolution is not the same depending on the type of rights: whereas the European patent system is not affected by Brexit, the UK Office has taken back its independence for trademarks and models.
- If your Community trademarks, designs and models are already registered:
The UK Office will automatically proceed with the creation of equivalent national trademarks for the territory of the United Kingdom. It is recommended to assign a UK attorney. This can be done without a date limit.
- If your Community trademarks and designs are not registered yet by December 31, 2020:
It will be necessary to apply for comparable protection in the United Kingdom, and this will be possible for a period of 9 months.
Our partner, Brandon IP, Patent and Trademark Attorneys, can of course help you to take stock of your affected rights if the United Kingdom is of any interest to you.
- For renewals:
Any design, model or trademark expiring after January 1st, 2021, must be renewed at both the European Patent Office and the UK Office.
Implications for contracts, agreements etc.
It is important to thoroughly review all the contracts currently in force in your company. Indeed, if they apply to the territory of the “European Union” without listing the countries concerned, it may be useful to clarify with your contracting partner if United Kingdom remains included in the contract. In order to clean up any ambiguity, it is in our opinion preferable to clearly indicate whether United Kingdom is covered or not by the contract, by signing an amendment for example.
Here again, our partner Brandon IP is ready to advise and support you in this process.
Do not hesitate to contact us about this.