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Brexit – the changes you still need to know about

30 September 2021

The Brexit transition period came to an end on 31 December 2020 and the real effects on IP rights of the UK leaving the EU took effect from 1 January 2021.

For detailed questions, your Withers & Rogers patent, trade mark or design attorney can advise you on specific cases.

The brief message is that we can continue to cater for your needs in both the EU and the UK. There’s no need to change how you interact with us to manage your IP rights. However, there are some considerations regarding trade marks you still need to bear in mind.

Use of Trade Mark

Trade mark registrations are vulnerable to cancellation for non-use five years post registration.  Any use of the EU trade mark prior to 1 January 2021 in the EU will count as use.  Insofar as the UK comparable trade mark registration (derivating from the EU trade mark registration), post 1 January 2021, all use of the UK comparable trade mark registration will need to be in the UK. Therefore you should diarise the five year period (1 January 2026) to start using in the UK the comparable trade mark registration.

Agreements/Contracts referring to EU

You will need to check the territory clause and add the UK to the EU in any jurisdiction clause and review the list of trade marks/designs and add any comparable UK registration/application.  For any licences, security interests and assignments, you will need to record these against the UK comparable right and ensure that these do not breach any agreement.  The recordal will need to be filed within 12 months of 1 January 2021.