Effects of Brexit on EU trade marks and designs

With regard to the exit of the United Kingdom (UK) from the European Union (EU) on 31 January 2020, a transition period until 31 December 2020 will now come into effect. During the transition period, EU law will remain applicable to the UK.

The effects of the transitional provisions will be as follows:

EU registered trade marks/designs:

EU registered trade marks/designs will continue to have effect in the UK until 31 December 2020. From 1 January 2021 a UK comparable registration will be created at the UK Intellectual Property Office (UK IPO) for every EU trade mark and design registration, unless the proprietor of the EU trade mark or design chooses to opt out of its creation.
In order to act in front of the UK IPO, a trademark owner, who is resident in the EU or has a representative domiciled in the EU, is currently not required to appoint UK representatives. As EUIPO has stated that after the transitional period only a trademark owner or his representative who is domiciled in the EU can act before him, it is expected that the UK IPO will adopt similar regulations.

EU pending trade mark/design applications:

In case of EU trade mark/design applications which are pending at the end of the transition period the applicant will be able to apply to register a comparable trade mark/design until 30 September 2021. This comparable trade mark/design application will be able to retain the earlier filing date of the pending EU trade mark/design application and also be able to claim any valid international priority or seniority. The comparable UK trade mark/design application will then be examined under UK law and practice.