Brexit’s impact on EU intellectual property rights
Following the recent ratification of the withdrawal agreement, the UK will officially leave the EU on 1 February 2020. Pursuant to the agreement, EU law will continue to remain applicable until the end of the transition period that is expected to last until 31 December 2020. During the transition period there will be no changes in the validity of Union-wide rights (e.g. the EU trade mark and Community design) in the UK.
Once the transition period ends, the UK is obliged to convert registered Union rights to comparable national rights, for which there is no need to file an additional application nor pay an additional fee according to currently available information. The national right will be valid for as long as the respective Union right would have been, after which a request for a renewal can be submitted pursuant to national legislation.
It is also important to note that applications for Union rights that have not been registered by the end of the transition period (e.g. EU trade marks) will not be automatically converted into national applications in the UK. Instead, an additional application must be filed within 9 months of the end of the transition period.
More detailed informed on what follows after the transition period is expected to be made available in the coming months. At least until 31 December the proprietors of Union-wide rights can be assured that status quo is maintained.