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March 2018
Brexit – no loss of IP rights
After the Brexit decision of the UK, there was uncertainty whether existing EU trademark and design registrations would remain valid in the UK. Recently, the European Commission published the “Draft Withdrawal Agreement”, including paragraphs regarding IP issues. Now, the UK government re-published this text in which it indicates on which articles consensus exists and which subjects are still open for discussion.

Most important to note is that the negotiating parties confirm that existing EU marks (EU TM’s, EU designs and EU designations in International TM and design registrations) can be transitioned into national UK rights without re-examination (“The holder of (…) intellectual property rights which have been registered or granted before the end of the transition period shall, without any re-examination, become the holder of a comparable registered and enforceable intellectual property right in the United Kingdom”). The application or priority date, as well as the original renewal date of the EU right will remain the same after transition and non-use of an EU mark in the UK does not immediately affect the scope of protection of the new national mark.

No consensus was reached yet on the draft proposal that indicated that the EU rights will be extended to the UK automatically (so without actions required for the TM owner) and without any fees for the trademark owner. It is expected that these subjects will be clarified later this year. Turnstone will keep you posted.