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Brexit 2020 – Impact on Trade Marks and Designs

brexit-1481028_640When will the UK leave the EU?

The Withdrawal Agreement has now been ratified by both the European and UK Parliaments. As a result, the UK will enter into a transition period on 31 January 2020, during which the UK will no longer be part of the EU, but will still be bound by EU rules and treated like a Member State. In this scenario ‘Exit Day’ for the purposes of IP rights will not be until the end of this transition period, expected to be on 31 December 2020. (more…)

Brexit and IP – updated overview

brexit-1481028_1920

This article is an updated version of a previous Brexit related article which takes into account the UK’s revised date for leaving the EU.

Following an extension agreed by EU leaders back in April, the UK is now expected to leave the European Union on 31 October 2019. The UK’s departure from the EU may have an effect on your Intellectual Property Rights. This article is designed to briefly set out those potential changes.

“Exit Day”

There is a key ‘switch-over’ date for IP, which is referred to here as “Exit Day”. The exact date of Exit Day will be different depending on the manner in which the UK leaves the EU.

In the event of a “No Deal” Brexit, where a Withdrawal Agreement has not been agreed by both sides, the UK will leave the EU without any transition period and Exit Day will be the end of the Article 50 period. Currently the end of the Article 50 period is 31 October 2019, though this date could potentially be extended again if there is still no agreement by that date.

If the Withdrawal Agreement is agreed by the EU and ratified by the UK, this provides for a transition period during which the UK will no longer be part of the EU, but will still be bound by EU rules. In this scenario ‘Exit Day’ is the end of this transition period (the end of December 2020 at least though potentially this date could also be extended).

References to “Exit Day” below should therefore be read as encompassing either the “No Deal” exit day or the exit date at the end of the transition period.

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Misleading Invoices: The Brexit Edition

brexit-1481028_1920In April 2019, the EU agreed a second delay to the UK’s departure from the EU and set a new departure date of 31 October 2019. Following EU leaders’ talks about the new Brexit delay, President Donald Tusk told the UK: “Please don’t waste this time”.

A couple of months on from Tusk’s press conference the UK appears to be doing everything it can to ignore that request as we watch the Conservative Party continue to tear itself apart by holding a leadership contest and the Labour Party leader continue the party’s policy of constructive ambiguity as far as its Brexit policy is concerned.

Although the UK political parties and most of the country seem to be gripped by an ongoing Brexit paralysis (#JustMakeItStop), one group of people have been quick off the mark hoping to cash in on the uncertainty around Brexit.

Yes, misleading IP related invoices are back and this time the companies sending the “invoices” are hoping to persuade their recipients into parting with their hard earned cash by paying for totally unnecessary UK trade mark and design registrations. (more…)

Brexit and IP – an overview

brexit-1481028_1920The UK is shortly expected to leave the European Union, which may have an effect on your Intellectual Property Rights. This article is designed to briefly set out those potential changes. (more…)

Brexit – No Deal & IP

brexit-1481028_1920Previous articles on IPcopy have briefly discussed the possibility of how a “No Deal” Brexit will affect trade marks and designs. Since the UK is fast approaching the 29 March 2019 deadline for leaving the EU without a satisfactory deal in sight, we have highlighted the UK government’s plans for trade marks and designs in the event of “No Deal” in more detail. (more…)

Brexit update: Business as usual

brexit-1481028_1920Nothing over the last few weeks has done anything to dispel the uncertainty that hangs over Brexit. Parliament emphatically rejected the proposed EU withdrawal agreement on 15 January and the last week has seen a number of proposed amendments* to the withdrawal agreement defeated. There are now only around 50 days until Brexit and the UK’s position hasn’t changed much since Article 50 was triggered nearly two years ago…. (more…)

Brexit and IP: UKIPO update on conversion of EU Trade Marks and Registered Community Designs

brexit-1481028_1920Following statements made recently in the House of Commons during an “Exiting the European Union” debate, the UK Intellectual Property Office has updated its “IP and BREXIT: The factspage with further details on its plans for handling European Union Trade Marks (EUTMs), Registered Community Designs (RCDs) and Unregistered Community Designs as the UK exits the EU.

By way of a brief recap readers will recall the March 2018 version of the draft Withdrawal Agreement covering the UK’s departure from the EU confirmed a number of IP related elements that had been agreed (see the sections in green between Articles 50-57) but that the registration procedure (for the conversion of EUTMs and RCDs) was still the subject of negotiations. (more…)

Lionel Messi’s EU Trade Mark: how ‘Fame’ can change the conceptual comparison of marks

messiA judgement issued by the EU General Court on 26 April 2018 ended opposition proceedings started in 2011 over Lionel Messi’s application to register the mark MESSI + Logo as a EU Trade Mark. The Barcelona striker can finally see his surname registered. The full judgement is available in French or Spanish here.

Background

Messi already owned a number of EU Trade Mark Registrations, in particular, for his full name LIONEL MESSI (EUTM Reg. 6353131), for LE0 MESS1 (stylised) (EUTM Reg. No. 9118852) and for his signature (EUTM Reg. Nos. 6353296 and 10394476), but the trade mark application in issue (EUTM Appl. No. 10181154) was just for the surname MESSI combined with a Logo (see the blog image at the top of this post). (more…)

United in Europe

In June 2016 the UK voted to leave the European Union, raising many questions around EU Trade Marks and Community Designs, as well as representation rights before the EUIPO.

Keltie’s “United in Europe” video below highlights our response to Brexit. (more…)

Brexit and IP – looking ahead in 2018

IMG_8533Following the UK’s EU referendum and the triggering of the Article 50 notification, the UK is currently scheduled to leave the European Union on 29 March 2019. Until the final arrangements between the UK and the EU are known there is widespread uncertainty in a range of areas including the intellectual property system within the UK.

For example, a particular IP related area of concern is what will happen in respect of EU Trade Marks (EUTMs) and Registered community designs (RCDs) post-Brexit. Without arrangements to the contrary it is unlikely that such EUTMs and RCDs will continue to cover the UK post-Brexit. [However, it is noted that it is completely within the UK’s ability to arrange for the implementation of an equivalent UK trade mark or design right to mirror the EU right. As such, holders of EUTMs and RCDs should expect that, even if arrangements are currently unclear, it is highly likely that the UK will announce the mechanism for continued protection in due course.]

As the UK and the EU move into the next phase of the Brexit negotiations IPcopy thought that this would be a good opportunity to recap how the referendum result impacts the IP world, what the current official announcements are and what action IP right holders can consider taking now. (more…)