The impact of Brexit on intellectual property rights in the EU




Release time:2020-12-29

On Christmas Eve, December 24, 2020, with the announcement of the European Commission, hard Brexit became a past tense, the UK-EU trade agreement was formally reached, and Brexit was able to make a soft landing. Since then, the relationship between the UK and its largest trading partner, the European Union and other countries has entered a new era.


In the field of intellectual property, we will open a new chapter?


On 1 January 2021, UK intellectual property law will be amended to ensure a smooth departure from the EU intellectual property system. See link for major changes


What are the implications for us? Summarized as follows:


1. European patents: The European Patent Office (38 member states) is not an organization of the European Union (27 member states after Brexit) and is not under the jurisdiction of the European Union. The United Kingdom's departure from the European Union has no impact on the European patent system. Therefore, Brexit does not affect the UK as a member of the European Patent Convention, and the UK remains in the European Patent Convention. Therefore, applicants can still obtain patent rights protection by submitting an application to the European Patent Office and filing it in the UK after authorization.


EU Trademark (EUTM) and EU Design (RCD):


InEU trademarks and authorised appearances registered before 1 January 2021 will continue to be valid in the UK. The UK Intellectual Property Office (UKIPO) converts these EU appearance and trademark rights into the corresponding UK rights.


Right inFor EU trademark or EU appearance applications filed before 1 January 2021 but not authorized, the applicant has the right to submit the corresponding application to the UK Intellectual Property Office within nine months from the end of the transition period, and must pay the same official fee as the UK trademark or UK appearance application.


3. International application for designation of the EU


During the transition period (1 February 2020 to 31 December 2020), international registrations of trademarks and designs protected through the Madrid and Hague systems that designate the European Union will continue to be extended to the United Kingdom.


Under the terms of the Brexit Agreement, rights to existing EU trademarks and appearances before the end of the transition period will beIt will continue to be protected in the UK after 31 December 2020 (the end of the transition period). UKIPO will continue to work with the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) to ensure the continuity and protection of rights.


3. Renewal:


If the EU trademark,Appearance renewal due date is earlier2021Year1Month1Day, then only the EU rights need to be renewed, not the new UK rights.


If an EU trademark or appearance renewal expiration date is2021Year1Month1Dayand thereafterMustToEUIPOandUKIPORespectively pay renewal fees(even inrenewal fee by January 1, 2021).


After that, if you want to continue to maintain the rights of the EU and the UK, you need to renew to the EU and the UK respectively.


For EU appearance and EU trademark owners, this is another matter that needs monitoring and attention.