The Brexit transition period will end on December 31, 2020. As of January 1, 2021, EU legislation will no longer have an effect in the UK, with the consequence that the protection of European trademarks and designs will NO longer be extended to British territory. What steps should we take?
European trademarks and Community designs registered by December 31, 2020, will be automatically "cloned" into national UK trademarks and designs before UKIPO without the need to pay fees and benefiting from the same priority and registration dates. UKIPO will not issue a certificate of registration for these new titles, but owners will be able to access their registrations through official databases at www.gov.uk In the future, these cloned titles shall be independently renewed in accordance with the procedures provided by the British law, in parallel with the renewals of European trademarks and Community designs at EUIPO.
It is highly recommended to check before December 31, 2020 that information regarding the owner (name, address) is updated in the EU registers, so that this information is correctly reflected in UK records.
Nonetheless, during the "grace period" up to September 30, 2021, it is possible to file a new application before UKIPO benefiting from priority dates of European trademarks and Community Designs.
Regarding proof of use, to consolidate your rights over your cloned UK trademarks, it will be necessary to effectively use them in the UK as of January 1, 2021. On the other hand, if a European trademark had been previously used only in the UK, it will need to be used elsewhere in any EU country to avoid expiration.
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