Less than a hundred days before the official Brexit date (March 29, 2019) and because no dead seems to be found between the United Kingdom and the European Union, official negotiations take an unexpected turn and leave many uncertainties regarding the future of IP rights.
Now on, the option of an « hard Brexit » or « no deal », that is to say an exit of the United Kingdom from the EU without any deal, seems more and more likely and has to be considered. Such situation would most probably have damaging consequences for EU IP rights owners.
The United Kingdom Intellectual Property Office (UKIPO), to date, did not modified its official position since last Autumn and mean to reassure EU trademarks owners. UKIPO clearly states a will to recognize the validity of EU trademarks on the United kingdom territory (the office published a guide available here ).
A conversion mechanism of EU trademarks into an equivalent national trademarks is considered. Nevertheless, to date, it is only a will from the UKIPO and doubts remain as to procedural issues and costs.
Indeed, the situation remain uncertain for UK national trademark and their recognition or not in the EU.
Therefore, depending on the importance and use of your trademarks in the British territory or depending on your company nationality, and to avoid any disruption of your trademarks protection, we recommend to contact your usual IP attorney to analyze the situation and take any relevant measure before March 29, 2019. Our team of lawyers is available to assist you. The situation will be simplified for owners of International Trademarks as the United Kingdom may be easily covered through WIPO.