Deal or No Deal Brexit – business as usual for Nucleus IP

Earlier this year the deadline for the UK to leave the EU was extended to 31st October 2019, and now again to January 31st 2020. While the overall legal consequences of Brexit are still unknown, we do know what will be implemented in the event of a no deal situation for trade marks and designs and there are extensive terms in the withdrawal agreement accepted by the EU that set out the intended provisions to be applied if an agreement is reached.

Whether or not Boris Johnson concludes a trade deal with the EU during a transition period which is to end on 31st December 2020, on leaving the EU the UK will no longer be covered by EU trade mark and design registrations and new EU applications will only cover the remaining 27 EU countries. However, in the event of no deal, the UK Government has passed legislation to ensure that all existing EU trade mark and design registrations continue to be protected in the UK. Therefore it is not necessary to double file for both UK and EU registrations unless there are specific reasons to do so, such as potential EU oppositions, or a need for a swift UK registration.

It would be advisable to check commercial agreements such as co-existence agreements as any references to the EU in relation to territory, governing law and jurisdiction may need to be revised to include the UK specifically. In the event of no deal, review your portfolio of International Registrations designating the EU and decide whether to opt out of receiving a new separate UK registration and instead designate the UK separately to retain the administrative benefits of the International system. We can do this for you.

On the day of our EU exit, the UK government has confirmed that all EU trade mark (EUTM) registrations and Registered Community Designs (RCD) will be divided into UK national and EU 27 registrations. Therefore, if you own 5 EU trade mark or design registrations on the day of exit, on the day after you will own 5 UK registrations plus 5 EU registrations (covering the remaining 27 member states). The UK registrations will retain the original filing and priority dates and the first renewal dates will be the same as the original EU registrations. The division, or “cloning” of the registrations will be at no cost and no forms will need to be filed.

Pending EUTM and RCD applications will not be divided and can be refiled in the UK within a period of 9 months from exit day. The usual fees and forms will be required, but the original filing and priority dates will be retained.

Nucleus IP is fully equipped and prepared to help you manage your intellectual property with confidence. If we leave the EU, we will halve our service fees to convert pending EU trade mark applications into UK trade mark applications.

Also, to assist those who are interested in obtaining the security offered by UK trade mark rights alongside EUTM protection, we are offering a 30% reduction to our usual service charges for filing a UK trade mark when instructed alongside an EU trade mark.