Impact of Brexit on EU Trade Marks and Designs

by Puravee Shah, Director, Trade Marks & Mike Vettese, Director, Trade Marks

What has happened?

On 1st December 2017, the European Union Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO) issued an article on the effect of Brexit on EU Trade Marks, Registered Community Designs and Unregistered Community Designs.

On 30 March 2019 at 00:00h (“withdrawal date”,) the UK will be withdrawing from the European Union. The UK government has suggested that there could be a transitional period of around two years to account for the implementation practicalities before the new relationship between the UK and EU can be established. The exact relationship the UK would have with the EU during the transition is still unclear and ambiguous.

The EUIPO has stated that, as of the withdrawal date, EU rules on EU Trade Marks and Community Designs will no longer apply to the UK.

What is the impact?

EU Trade Marks and Registered Community Designs as well as Unregistered Community Designs dating from before the withdrawal date will continue to be valid in the EU27 Member States but will no longer have effect in the UK as from the withdrawal date. Any pending applications for Trade Marks or Community Designs dating from before the withdrawal date will no longer cover the UK as from that date.

However, this is subject to any transitional arrangement which has yet to be decided.

How can you prepare?

As there is no definitive answer and to ensure your rights are safeguarded, you may wish to file UK national applications for existing European Union Trade Marks / Registered Community Designs at this time. Murgitroyd will, however, continue to monitor relevant legislative provisions and discussions with the relevant EU authority and the UK on your behalf and update its advice as required.

For Trade Marks and Designs used in the UK and in other EU countries that are currently unprotected, it remains our view for Trade Marks that it is prudent to file a UK national application alongside an EU application. For Designs, we recommend that you discuss these with us in order for us to advise whether filing of a UK national application alongside an EU application would be advisable in your case.

At Murgitroyd we wish to ensure that our clients feel secure in the validity of their rights and therefore we are offering a reduced filing rate for those clients who wish to file UK applications to support their existing EU registrations.

We can help

Please contact your usual Murgitroyd attorney to discuss any issues which may be causing you concern in the knowledge that, at Murgitroyd, with our network of European offices, multi-jurisdictional rights of representation, and a wide variety of EU language skills, we are well placed to deal with any eventualities.

  • Network of 13 UK and European offices;
  • Multi-jurisdictional rights of representation;
  • Wide variety of EU language skills and in-house Translation Team.


Puravee Shah | Director, Trade Marks | E: | T: +44 (0)20 8688 3490
Mike Vettese | Director, Trade Marks | E: | T: +44 (0)1224 706 616

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