The decision that Britain will leave the EU gives rise to many questions relating to Intellectual Property (IP). One question is what will happen to all EU trademark and EU design rights that apply in the UK and how these rights should be treated after Britain’s formal resignation.

Firstly, it will take at least two years before Britain actually leaves the EU and considering all complex issues, not least in the IP field, it will probably take longer. Until Britain actually leaves the EU, EU laws will continue to apply in the UK, therefore the Regulation on Community trademarks and designs all remain in full force and effect. Likewise, EU trademarks and EU designs are valid in the UK until Britain’s formal resignation enters into force.

No one can tell what will happen after the resignation. However, the assessment so far is that a mechanism will undoubtedly be provided to allow trademark and design rights to be transformed into national British rights while maintaining the priority date and the seniority claim, in terms of trademarks.

After the formal resignation you will very likely have to either apply for a national registration or designate Britain in an international registration, in order to protect your trademarks and designs in the UK.

There are many other aspects and details of Britain’s resignation that will arise and that will need to be negotiated between the EU and the UK. Likewise, companies may need to, for example, rework and adapt license agreements or other types of IP agreement which refers to the “EU” territory, as this will no longer include the UK.

BRANN will monitor and keep our clients up to date on any changes and possible measures to be taken for the EU trademark and Design to continue to apply in the UK after Brexit. If you have any questions, please contact Astrid Johnsson, Partner at BRANN.