The United Kingdom withdraws from the European Union today. The implementation period runs for the next 11 months, through Dec. 31. During this time, European Union trademark filings (“EUTMs”) will continue in full force in the U.K.
Unless the time is extended, beginning Jan. 1, 2021, EUTMs that have already registered will automatically be granted protection in the U.K. The U.K. Trademark Office will give these “comparable TMs (EU)” immediate protection, using the same EUTM registration number but followed by a new U.K. designation.
Any EUTMs that are still pending in the application stage at the end of the implementation period will not be granted protection automatically in the U.K. We recommend that trademark owners file an application directly in the U.K. during the implementation period; that is, sometime during this calendar year. The new application will retain the earlier filing date of the pending EUTM, as well as any priority claim associated with the EUTM, if the specification of goods and/or services is identical to or contained within the EUTM application.
Brexit does not affect European patents, since the European Patent Office is not an EU agency.