The EU Referendum result and your trade marks

It’s been a few days since the EU Referendum result was known. Whichever side of the debate you fall on (and everyone has had an opinion!), no one can deny that we’re facing some major changes to the way things get done in the UK and the EU generally. Having taken a few days to consider it, purely from a “trade marks for business” perspective, here are some thoughts:

  • Nothing has changed at the moment. Your UK rights are still valid. Your EU rights are still valid. EU rights still extend to the UK.
  • There is no need to panic. The UK won’t leave the EU until 2 years after the date that they “push the button” and give notice to leave. It doesn’t look like that notice will be given any time soon.
  • Your existing EU rights are not worthless. As and when the UK leaves the EU there will, almost certainly, be the option to keep your existing EU rights in the UK. This will undoubtedly attract a fee, but will nonetheless be possible.
  • For future trade mark filing plans, think about which countries you genuinely will use your trade mark in. At the moment, an EU trade mark is a cost effective way of protecting your trade mark in all of the EU countries through one application. If you have an interest in the UK and only one or two other EU countries, it might be better to file trade mark applications only in those countries of interest. Contact me for advice on your EU filing strategy.
  • If you have an EU trade mark coming up for renewal, so long as it is still of interest to you in part of the EU (including the UK), you should renew it. Letting it lapse now will not give you continued rights in the UK once the UK has officially left the EU.
  • Make sure that the details on the register are accurate. This includes ownership, address and representative. If you have more than one representative across your portfolio, consider consolidating to one single representative if it is possible within business decisions. This will make it much easier to handle any future changes to the EU trade marks, and the “new” UK protection. Please contact me if I can help consolidate your portfolio.

If you have any questions or concerns about the consequences for your trade mark rights following the EU Referendum result, please get in touch.

Image from Pixabay with thanks.