On 31 January 2020, the UK officially left the EU.
During the transition period, which will end on 31 December 2020, the rights conferred by EU trade mark registrations will continue to extend to the UK. As from 1 January 2021, all existing EU registrations will be cloned automatically onto the UK Trade Marks Register creating new national registrations. These registrations will retain the EU registration date and the renewal deadline will remain the same. This process will not incur any costs and proprietors will, in essence, obtain two registrations, each of which will need to be maintained separately.
Any EU trade mark applications that are still pending on 1 January 2021, will not be cloned onto the UK Trade Mark Register automatically. Instead, and until 30 September 2021, applicants will have the option to file a separate UK application and retain the earlier EU application date. This process will however, incur costs.
Considering that EU trade mark applications are processed fairly quickly and, assuming there are no objections, proceed to registration within 4 – 5 months, applicants seeking trade mark protection in both the EU and UK are encouraged to file EU applications urgently to benefit from the cloning process.
If, for any reason you wish to opt out of the cloning process, this will only be possible after 1 January 2021.
Should you have any further queries regarding the implications of Brexit on your trade mark rights, please feel free to contact us at email@example.com.