The UK Government has issued guidance on what will happen to EU trade marks and registered Community designs if there is a "no deal" Brexit.
If there is no deal, then after March 2019:
- Existing EUTMs and RCDs will continue to be valid in the remaining EU member states.
- UK protection of existing registered EUTMs and RCDs will be given via a new, equivalent UK right, which will be granted "with minimal administrative burden" (although the Government is yet to determine the procedure or if any official fee will be payable).
- Pending EUTMs and RCDs will not automatically convert in this same way. Instead, rights holders will have until the end of 2019 to file an application in the UK for the same protections as their EUTM/RCD application, but retaining the EU application date for priority purposes (e.g. if the filing date of your EUTM is 20 December 2018, then your UK application would have the same filing date). Rights holders taking this step will need to meet the cost of refiling the application, in accordance with the UK application fee structure.
- Brexit will not prevent any UK/non-EU based applicant from applying for or owning an EU trade mark or RCD.
Our recommendation: If you are considering applying for a trade mark / registered design now and you want that mark/design to be protected in both the UK and EU after March 2019, then applying for a UK registered trade mark / UK registered design now, in addition to any EUTM or RCD application, is likely to be the most efficient way of achieving that aim.