Brexit – Impact on your IP rights in Europe

14 December 2020

Does Brexit have consequences for you as a holder of IP rights in the EU? The answer is Yes, the upcoming Brexit will affect your European IP protection. A few important consequences are mentioned hereunder.

After January 1st 2021:

  • Existing EU trademark and design registrations will continue to apply in the EU, but for the UK, the EU registrations will be converted into separate UK national registrations, including any relevant priority/ seniority dates of the previous EU registration. If you do not wish to convert your rights into a UK registration, you can make use of an opt-out arrangement.
  • Different rules will apply to the EU trademark and design applications that are still pending. The EU registrations will not be converted into separate UK national registrations. However you as the applicant will be able to convert your pending EU rights in the UK into a national UK application. This national application will involve additional registration fees, and preferably to be paid within the stipulated period of nine months. If payment is made within that period, the UK Office will also take into account the applicable priority dates and seniority claims of the existing EU applications.
  • For now, the UK will continue to be a contracting state to the European Patent Convention, the international agreement that oversees the examination and granting of European patents. Therefore, if you have European patents or applications, these will continue to have an effect in the UK.
  • If you have a granted Community Variety Plant Right in the EU that was granted before 31 December 2020, your right will automatically become a plant variety right under the law of the UK. The term will be the same as that of your Community Variety Plant Right. For holders of a pending CPVR application, a UK application will need to be filed within a period of 6 months, from the end of the transition period (31 December 2020). The priority date will be deemed to be the date of filing of the EU.

Need advice regarding your IP rights in view of Brexit? Contact the experts at brantsandpatents!


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