As everyone will no doubt be aware, the transition period for the UK leaving the EU ends on 31 December 2020. With the deadline approaching, we have been reaching out to clients with specific information relating to the Anaqua systems they are using and offering advice and support. In addition, we wanted to provide you more generally with an update of the transition rules and requirements, along with the most current official links. However, we also strongly encourage you to contact your local counsel for any further clarification or confirmation you may need, as well as other potential filing strategies which may be applicable to you.
TRADEMARKS and INDUSTRIAL DESIGNS
- Changes to EU and international designs and trade mark protection from 1 January 2021
- EU trade mark protection and comparable UK trade marks from 1 January 2021
1. Existing Registrations
- EUTM Trademarks and Registered Community Designs will be automatically re-registered unless you choose to ‘opt out’.
- Opt out requests cannot be submitted prior to 1 January 2021.
- Opt out templates are expected to be posted at www.gov.uk on 1 January 2021.
- There are very specific rules regarding existing Registrations which have a renewal deadline within 6 months of 1 January 2021 (both prior to and after 1 January).
- Please refer to the official links provided above for rules regarding Registration renewals for re-registrations in the UK to ensure your rights are preserved.
2. Pending Applications
- You have until 30 September 2021 to apply to register the same mark (or community design) as a right in the UK and retain the earlier filed date of the pending applications.
3. Madrid System Users
- There are additional rules regarding EU protection obtained as a result of a subsequent designation
- Please carefully review these rules if you use the Madrid System: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/changes-to-international-trade-mark-registrations-after-the-transition-period
PATENTS and SPC’s
- Changes to patent law: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/changes-to-spc-and-patent-law-after-the-transition-period#changes-to-patent-law
There are very few changes for patent laws, however, the rules regarding SPC’s have been updated. We recommend reviewing carefully to determine any impact on your patents.
COPYRIGHTS and DOMAINS
Please review the following links which have been recently updated.
With the Withdrawal Agreement in place, we are all hoping for a smooth transition. That said, we encourage you to continue to review official links from IP offices and seek guidance where necessary from your local counsel.