Today, 1 february 2020, marks the day that the United Kingdom officially left the European Union. For Intellectual Property rights this official Brexit will not have immediate consequences, as a transition period has been provided for from 1 February 2020 until at least 31 December 2020. In this blog we provide an overview of what you can expect in the fields of copyright, trademarks, designs and patents during this transition period.
Copyrighted works are mostly protected by international treaties. Therefore, your copyrighted works will in principle remain protected within the EU and the UK during the transition period and even after this period.
After the transition period, EU trademarks will no longer protect trademarks in the UK. Therefore, the Intellectual Property Organisation (IPO) will create comparable UK trade marks for all existing EU trade marks, free of charge. These UK trademarks will be recorded in the UK trademark register and will keep the original EU trademark filing dates.
If you have an EU trademark and you do not wish to receive the comparable UK trademark, you can use the transition period to opt out. An opt out can be recommended if you already have an existing UK right or if you know/suspect that your trademark will have a conflict with a prior third party UK trademark.
For Registered Community designs the same applies as to EU trademarks. Comparable UK designs will be created at the end of the transition period. As a right holder you do not need to take any extra actions to receive this right.
Unregistered Community designs created or arising before the end of the transition period will remain protected in the UK until expiration of the right.
The European Patent Office is not an EU agency. Therefore, Brexit will not affect the current European patent system. Existing patents covering the UK will remain unaffected.
In case you have any questions about the consequences of Brexit for your (future) Intellectual Property rights, please do not hesitate to contact one of our lawyers of the Team Intellectual Property & IT.