Brexit & Trade Mark Registrations

Brexit & Trade Mark Registrations

Posted: Sept 2018

As most people are aware, “Brexit” is the name for the process of the United Kingdom leaving the European Union, following the referendum result of 23 June 2016.

The process started with the UK Prime Minister Theresa May invoking Article 50 of the Treaty on the European Union on 29 March 2017, and negotiations with the EU and have been on-going since that date.

EU trade marks currently have effect in the UK, as the UK is still, at the time of writing, a part of the EU. However, a question many of our clients have asked is “how does Brexit affect my trade marks?

It is a very good question, and of particular concern to those who only rely on EU trade marks. The issue of trade marks does not appear to have been directly addressed by the Brexit negotiators yet. There was no mention of trade marks in the UK government’s White Paper on Brexit. A mantra that has originated from the Brexit negotiations is “nothing is agreed until everything is agreed”.

Therefore, until a deal is made between the UK and the EU, we cannot know for sure what the situation will be on the day the UK is scheduled to leave the EU (29 March 2019).

In the meantime, what should trade mark owners do?

Ultimately, a trade mark strategy is something that requires careful consideration. There simply cannot be one-size-fits-all advice suitable for every type of business, in every type of sector, and for every type of trade mark.

However, many of our clients understand that their trade marks and brand names are their most important assets; their trade marks are the vehicle for their reputation. They therefore wish to take no chances with Brexit, and are filing both UK and EU trade marks, together, or are supplementing their EU marks with additional UK applications.

At Trade Mark Associates, we have always taken the view that the best form of trade mark protection is to have trade mark registrations in both the UK and EU, for a number of reasons. The uncertainty surrounding Brexit only reinforces our opinion.

At Trade Mark Associates, we are providing trade mark portfolio assessments, without charge, for a limited time. To get yours today, contact 01869 692 888 or email, quoting “TMBREXIT”.