Brexit and EU trademarks
On January 31, 2020, the UK will leave the EU. But, as part of its Withdrawal Bill, it agreed to a transition period until December 31, 2020. Until the end of the transition period, the UK will still be bound by many EU rules and regulations. Thus, EU trademarks will be effective in the UK during this period. After December 31, 2020, EU trademarks will no longer have any effect in the UK.
1. Existing EU trademarks
The UK IPO has indicated that it will automatically create a comparable UK trademark for each registered EU Trademarks free of charge, and the new UK trademark will inherit the priority and seniority data of the originating EU trademark rights (UK IPO link).
Registrants need to update their trademark files to reflect newly created UK trademarks. Fortunately, the application number for the UK trademark and the renewal date for the UK trademark will be linked to the EU trademark.
2. Pending EU trademark applications
The UK IPO will not automatically create a comparable UK trademark application for pending EU trademark applications. Rather, applicants will have to apply separately for a UK trademark but they may be eligible to retain the earlier filing date of the EU trademark application and claim priority to international applications.