In December 2017, the EU Commission announced that as from March 30, 2019 EU trademarks and EU designs will cease to apply in the United Kingdom. On March 19, 2018 a draft agreement on the UK exit was prepared (link).
According to the draft agreement, there will be a transition period from 29 March, 2019 until 31 December, 2020. Both parties have agreed on the following points:
• A transition period (Art. 121 and 122);
• Holders of EUTM, EU designs and Community plant variety rights will have the same rights in the UK after the transition period ”without any re-examination, become the holder of a comparable registered and enforceable right in the UK” (Art. 50);
• International registrations designating the EU that have obtained protection before the end of the transition period will have the same rights in the UK even after the transition period (Art. 52);
• An unregistered EU design that arose before the end of the transition period “will continue to benefit from a right with the ‘same level of protection’ as the UCD after the transition period (Art. 53);
• Databases will have the same level of protection in the UK if they arose before the end of the transition period “will continue to benefit from a right with the ‘same level of protection’ as the EU database right after the transition period (Art. 54);
• The rights that have expired before the end of the transition period will also not apply in the UK “shall remain exhausted both in the UK and the EU after the transition period (Art. 57);
The following points are still subjects to further negotiations:
• Protection of GI and similar rights (Art. 50);
• The exact mechanism for the registration process of the above mentioned EU rights in the United Kingdom (Art. 51). According to the same article, the UKPTO shall have the regulations in place and the procedure shall be free of charge for right holders.
• Pending applications for supplementary protection certificates in the UK (art. 56)
The negotiations are still ongoing and we are monitoring the progress. If you have any questions, please contact Aliona Saalo at Brann.