As you likely know, due to the United Kingdom leaving the European Union (Brexit), current European Union (EU) Trademark Registrations will no longer cover the territory of the United Kingdom. However, existing EU Registrations will continue to cover the remaining EU countries.
There is no cause for concern since the United Kingdom Intellectual Property Office (UK IPO) is automatically “cloning” all EU trademark registrations into new UK trademark registrations. The UK Registrations will retain the same filing date and renewal date as the EU registrations. The Registration Numbers for the new UK Registration will be the EU Registration Number with the prefix 009.
The UK trademark registrations will be fully independent registration governed by UK law—with the ability to be challenged, assigned, and/or licensed separately from the original EU trademark. In the event of a challenge to a UK registration, proof of use of the trademark in the UK will be necessary. Conversely, to defend an EU Registration, evidence of use will be needed in at least one of the other EU countries.
If the EU Registration is a Designation of an International Registration, the cloned UK Registration will be an independent UK Registration which will need to be managed and renewed separately from your International Registration. Alternately, the UK can be Subsequently Designated in an existing International Registration to allow for renewals, assignments, changes of name, etc. to be made in one place. Please contact us if you are interested in incorporating the UK into an existing International Registration.
If you have EU Designs, they will be similarly cloned in the UK. However, Brexit will not affect any European patent applications or patents since the European Patent Organization is established under the European Patent Convention (EPC), which is an international treaty independent of the EU. The UK will continue as an EPC member state.
Please contact us if you have any questions about your trademark, design or patent coverage.