“Brexit” has also generated many uncertainties in the field of intellectual property due to the confusion of positions within British parliamentarians. 31 October 2019 is the deadline for the exit of the United Kingdom from the European Union, following the conclusion of the negotiations launched following the brexit referendum held on 23 June 2016.
The way in which the“brexit” will be implemented still hangs over the political will of the UK Government of the EU and the only certainty is that registered and unregistered Community trade marks, designs, and other intellectual property rights with a unitary character in the European Union, from the date of release of the United Kingdom, will no longer have effect in that territory.
In particular, it shall:
1. To trademarks of the European Union, Community designs and international trademarks extended to the European Union, which are registered on the date of Exit Day, continuity of protection in the United Kingdom will be guaranteed automatically by means of an equivalent national title, which will retain the same filing date, priority date, and the same products and services as the European Title. Such cloning“of the title shall be automatic, without charge to the holder and without examination by the competent Office.
2. Trade marks of the European Union, Community designs and international trade marks which have been extended to the European Union and which are subject to application status on the date of Exit Day, will not automatically be guaranteed an equivalent national title. The holders of such certificates may redeposit a UK national trade mark or design (or make a subsequent designation to the United Kingdom in the case of international trade marks) within 9 months of the Exit Day.Such revalued national titles shall retain the same deposit and priority date as the European Title.
In view of the current uncertainties, in the event of an interest to obtain protection of one’s own titles in the UK, it may be useful to file trade mark or design applications in the UK already, at the same time as the same security is deposited in the territory of the European Union.
Moreover, the measures taken by the UK courts on trade mark matters will not take effect within the EU, but disputes over European trade marks involving proprietors of European trade marks established in the United Kingdom will have to be settled by the EU trade mark courts.
Right of priority
Even after 31 October 2019, the priority of a UK trade mark may be claimed against a European trade mark. The United Kingdom has signed the Paris Convention, which gives the signatory countries the right of priority.
According to the Paris Convention for the Protection of Industrial Property, which dates back to 1883 and is recognised by many countries around the world, including the United Kingdom, an entity which has filed its trade mark in a State which accedes to the Convention has 6 months in which to register the same trade mark in any other acceding country, relying on the previous filing date (up to 6 months) of the first State.
Checks at the customs office
The rules on controls of the European Union will no longer be applied to customs by customs authorities, with the consequence that the proprietors of a European trade mark will no longer be able to request the customs authorities of the United Kingdom to verify whether certain goods infringe their trade mark right and therefore to block them before they enter the territory British.
The European patent system is not influenced by brexit. The United Kingdom is and will remain a member of the European Patent Convention (EPC), which has no connection with the EU. UK patent advisers will retain their EPO credentials. The European patent will always be actionable in UK proceedings. As for the issue of the unitary patent, the UK government is working to ensure that the United Kingdom can participate in any future system that is put in place.