Brexit and its effect on the protection of your European union trademark and design rights in the United Kingdom

18 February 2018

Since the British voted for Brexit, people have asked us how this will affect the protection of trademarks and design rights in the United Kingdom.

Unfortunately, we don’t yet know. There have been no announcements or publications.

The formal mechanism for the UK leaving the European Union has not yet been triggered. From the date of signing, parties have two years to get all legal affairs in order. Until that time, the United Kingdom remains part of the European Union. Afterwards, various scenarios are possible. The most obvious one seems to be the conversion of trademarks into British national rights, either at the request of the trademark owner or otherwise, followed perhaps by an investigation by the British Trademark Authorities. But this is by no means certain, and you may no longer have a valid trademark.

What if you use your European trademark almost exclusively in the United Kingdom? Or what if you have drawn up a licence or co-existence agreement that applies to the European Union, and which does not specifically include the United Kingdom?

If the United Kingdom is a key market for you, we recommend you contact your trademark attorney.

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