UK-EU trademarks – Brexit impact

Posted: 1 year ago in: News, UncategorizedPosted By admin

EU trademarks & Brexit

UK-EU trademarks Brexit impact

UK-EU trademarks Brexit impact – are rights to UK & EU trademarks affected?  The UK vote on 23 June 2016 to leave the EU may affect the scope of protection of both UK & EU-wide trademarks.

  • EU-wide trademarks currently have effect in all member states of the EU.  When the UK leaves the EU, the scope of such marks is likely to be affected.
  • The scope of UK marks, once it leaves the EU may also be weaker.  UK trademarks could lose the power to oppose, invalidate or revoke EU trademarks.

UK-EU trademarks Brexit impact – Legal effect of trademark laws

  • According to the President of the European Union, Donald Tusk, EU law continues to have effect in the UK, until the parties sign exit papers.
  • Under current treaties, a state that leaves the EU has two years to  negotiate the terms of exit and future trade relationships.  This can be extended by agreement.
  • But, a super qualified majority voting may be applied.  The Lisbon Treaty provides for that a super qualified majority is composed of 72% of the member states also comprising 65% of the EU-population. 
  • UK-EU trademarks Brexit impact – is likely to affect rights of UK & EU trademark registrations, even under an EEA agreement.  It probably will affect other intellectual property rights.

Four principles of EU

The four principles underlying the EU are freedom of movement of :

  • capital
  • goods
  • services
  • labour

The UK’s leave campaign focused on objections to immigration.  But Brexit negotiations will deal with the other principles also.  UK-EU trademarks Brexit impact – rights to trademarks are likely to be affected.

Brexit implies UK moves away from free movement of intellectual property rights in EU

  • The Brexit vote means that Britain will have less rights to free movement of capital, labour, goods and services in the EU.
  • This infers reduced scope for free movement of intellectual property rights.
  • Because the UK will no longer be a member of the EU, future EU trademark registrations may not have rights in the UK.  UK trademarks most likely will hold less rights against EU-wide trademarks.
  • Trademark owners may need to apply for registration of marks in the UK in the future.
  • UK trademark owners owners may also need to apply for EU registration, depending on territories.
  • It also could mean that owners of UK trademark registrations may not oppose, invalidate or revoke EU trademarks.

Brexit to hit UK & EU trademarks

  • Without being a member state of the EU, the UK exit could affect rights of trademark owners in the UK, as well as in the EU.
  • Overall, trademark owners may wish to review their approach to intellectual property rights affecting the UK & the EU.
  • The full implications for UK-EU trademarks should become clear by the time the exit is signed.
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