The government indicated that, although it still foresees that the UK will leave the EU with an agreement on March 29, 2019, guidelines have been drafted to cover the event a no deal scenario and “hard Brexit” becomes reality.
EU registrations will be converted automatically, EU applications will require action
The most important message is that, deal or no deal, a pending EU registration will continue to be protected and to be enforceable in the UK. This would be done by providing a new UK equivalent trade mark or design right, which right will come into force at the point of the UK’s exit from the EU. This new UK right will be granted automatically, without official fees and with minimal administrative burden.
As for pending EU applications, the consequences of a no deal would be that a new UK trademark or design application would have to be filed, with payment of regular official fees and following the regular registration procedure. If such application is filed within nine months from Brexit date, the original application date of the corresponding EU right can be claimed.
A similar approach is expected for EU designations in pending International design and trademark applications and registrations.
Turning to the unregistered Community design right, this right remains enforceable in the UK after Brexit date for the remaining period of that right. The UK will also create a new unregistered UK design right, similar to the current unregistered Community design, for designs which are disclosed after the UK exits the EU.
Turnstone will keep you apprised of further news.