On 31st December 2020 the transition period will end and the relationship between the UK and the EU will change. Whilst there are a couple of months left for a trade deal to be put into place between the UK and the EU, time is running short and there will undoubtedly be a period of uncertainty leading up to Brexit and beyond. As regards your IP, however, Meissner Bolte’s UK and German offices are perfectly placed to answer any queries you may have and to assist you through the next months and beyond.
From 1st January 2021 granted EU Trade Marks (EUTM) and Registered Community Designs (RCD) will cease to have territorial effect in the UK. The UKIPO will automatically clone an equivalent right, thus giving continued UK protection. EUTM and RCD applications which are still pending on 1st January 2021, will need to be refiled with the UKIPO as national TMs or Designs. Provided this is done within a 9-month grace period, so by 30 September 2021, the same relevant dates as the EUTM and RCD will apply. All EUTMs and RCDs filed in 2021 will need to be separately filed as national UK applications, if protection in the UK is desired.
Given the EUTM opposition period of three months, EUTM applications filed now will not have secured registration by the end of the transition period. The prudent and recommended course of action would, therefore, be co-filing a UK TM application at the same time as an EUTM application to ensure rights are sufficiently protected.
Design applications could in some instances mature to registration in a few weeks, so there may be time to file only an RCD, depending on the circumstances.
The new UK national registrations, whether derived from an EUTM/RCD or independently filed, will be separate from EU registrations. Accordingly, individual renewal fees will fall due for the UK registrations and EU registrations, separately. Care must be taken to avoid inadvertent loss of rights!
Although UK based Attorneys will no longer be able to represent clients before the EUIPO, rest assured that Meissner Bolte’s Germany-based specialists are perfectly placed to assist them with any EUTM and RCD cases. Conversely, the UKIPO will require UK-based attorneys to handle all cases before the UKIPO in due course. Although this is not an immediate requirement. Meissner Bolte’s UK experts will handle allUK based rights in readiness for the change.
Whether you are used to dealing with our UK or Germany based experts, you will experience no change to the service we provide. All cases will continue to be handled by your usual representatives and team, with the support of the UK/German offices as required.
We will be doing all the work with the relevant offices and shall get in touch with updates on any developments on an application or registration, or if any action is required from your side regarding the continued protection of your rights.
At this early stage of the UK’s post-EU future, we strongly advise against allowing any IP rights in the UK to lapse. The fees in the UK are very reasonable and purchasing another 5 or 10 more years of protection in the UK, especially in these unprecedented times, makes good commercial sense!
If you have any queries or concerns, please do not hesitate to get in touch with your usual Meissner Bolte advisor.
Meissner Bolte has full-service offices in both Germany and the UK; our experienced attorneys in each office provide direct representation of all your IP rights in front of the national offices. In our UK office: Jorandi and Janet are available to discuss all issues relating to UK and European Trade Marks and Designs as well as UK and European Patents. At our Munich location, Oliver and Andrew are available to discuss all issues relating to German and European Trade Marks and Designs as well as UK and European Patents.
Whatever information you need, Meissner Bolte has the expert for you on call!