Will Brexit have any effect on EU trademarks?
Find out by watching this short video:
Whether you're happy that the UK has finally gained its freedom from the tyranny of the European Union. Yay! Or if you think it's the biggest mistake ever, woohoo! Or you just don't care about European politics. The fact remains the same. The Brexit just happened. The United Kingdom left the European Union at 11:00 PM GMT on January 31st, 2020.
The UK parliament and the European parliament have finally ratified the withdrawal agreement between the UK and the EU, which means that it's a no-deal Brexit. So the UK will now enter into a transition period until December 31st, 2020. The UK government has declared that it will not agree to any extension of this transition period.
And during this transition period, the UK will remain part of the EU single market and customs union also, unless otherwise will be provided in the withdrawal agreement. EU law will continue to apply to the UK and most references to EU member States in applicable EU legislation will apply to the UK.
However, the UK will no longer be entitled to participate in the elections, decision making, and governance of EU institutions, bodies, offices, and agencies. All right, so what does this all mean for EU trademarks and trademark applications? First of all, if you own a European Union trademark that gets registered by December 31st, 2020 so end of this year, December 31st, 2020. You will automatically acquire a corresponding registered and fully enforceable UK trademark at no extra charge. Now here's what this means. Now I'm shooting this video in early February of 2020. European trademarks only take a few months to register without an office action. Now what this means is that if you want to register your trademark in the EU and get a free extension of your trademark registration to the UK, now is the time to do it. You can still make it before December 31st of 2020.
Don't tell me I didn't warn you if you wait too long because I did. I just did. Now, if your EU trademark application registers on or after January 1st of 2021 you're out of luck. Applications that are still bending after December 31st of 2020 will not be converted into corresponding UK applications automatically. Now, the only thing you're going to get is a grace period until the end of September of 2021. Now, if you file your UK trademark application during this grace period, you can claim the filing priority date back to the filing date of your EU trade applications.
For example, you file your EU trademark on the day that Trademark Factory will be celebrating its ninth birthday on August 31st of 2020 right? So let's say you file your EU trademark on August 31st, 2020 and it doesn't register in the EU by December 31st, 2020. It means you have no protection of your brand in the UK unless you follow your trademark application in the UK directly. So let's say sometime in April of 21 you'll realize that, whoops, your brand is not only not protected in the US, your competitor has applied to a register, your brand is their trademark in February of 2021. Okay. And so what this grace period does, it gives you the right to file your trademark application in the UK, let's say April of 2021, and claim priority of your trademark application in the UK back to the date of your EU trademark application. That means that for all intents and purposes, your UK application will be deemed to have been filed on August 31st, 2020.
In other words, your UK application will be deemed to have been filed before your competitor filed its trademark in February of 2021. But really, once again, it would be much easier and much cheaper for you to just follow your EU trademark application ASAP and get it registered before December 31st, 2020. This way, you will get your UK trademark registration automatically at no extra charge.
Now, if you do get the UK trademark derived from your EU trademark registered before December 31st, 2020 then such corresponding UK trademark will have the same renewal dates and filing priority dates as the registered EU trademark from which it derives. From that point on, you would need to renew the UK trademark according to UK rules separately from the EU trade law. Right? So you're a corresponding UK trademark would not be at risk of cancellation before December 31st, 2020 even if you don't have any genuine use of the brand in the UK. However, if you can tame you not to use the Mark in the UK, your new UK trademark can then be canceled for non-use as always just starting from 2021.
Now, so here are the action steps for you if you're a business owner if you're a brand owner. If you already have a registered trademark in the EU, relax! You will be getting your UK trademark automatically. All you would need to do is make sure you renew your UK trademark at the same time as your EU trademark. Simply renewing your EU trademark would not renew your corresponding UK trademark. Okay. You have a pending trademark application in the EU. Now, keep an eye on it to make sure it registers by December 31st, 2020. If it does, then once again, relax! This new trademark will also trigger a corresponding UK trademark registration at no extra charge.
Now, if you have a pending trademark application in the EU and it doesn't register by December 31st, 2020 then in order to protect your brand in the UK, you would need to file a separate trademark application in the UK directly. You can claim the priority of your UK trademark application back to the filing date of your EU trademark application as long as you file your UK trademark application before the end of September of 2021 so before September 30th, 2021.
Now, if you do not have a pending trademark application in the EU, but would like to protect your brand in 27 European countries and in the United Kingdom, then what are you waiting for? Now is the time. In fact, we are quickly approaching the time after which it will be too late for you to jump on the bandwagon. So if Europe is potentially on your radar as one of your target markets, make sure you file your EU trademarks ASAP.
And yes, Trademark Factory can help you with that. We will offer you the same deal as for other countries. That is a comprehensive trademark search to determine if your brand is trademarkable, a single flat fee that will take care of the entire process from start to finish and a 100% money-back guarantee in case your trademark application doesn't get registered.
Don't wait. Book your free call with one of our strategy advisors right now. Just go to trademarkfactory.com and fill out the form to book your call right now. Until then, I will see you in the next video.
Disclaimer: Please note that this post and this video are not and are not intended as legal advice. Your situation may be different from the facts assumed in this post or video. Your reading this post or watching this video does not create a lawyer-client relationship between you and Trademark Factory International Inc., and you should not rely on this post or this video as the only source of information to make important decisions about your intellectual property.