With the current pandemic, the B word has taken a bit of a back burner in peoples minds.
However, time is ticking and there is now less than 6 months left of the transition period, is your IP ready?
On 1st January 2021, the UK will no longer be a part of the EU and many rules in respect of your intellectual property will change.
At present, all EU trade marks include protection in the UK. This is still the case during the transition period. On 01 January 2021, these EU marks will no longer has protection in the UK. To compensate for this loss of protection, the UK Intellectual Property Office will be granted an equivalent UK trade mark to the exact specifications as to the registered EU mark. However, it is important to be aware, if you have an ongoing EU application, this will not be granted an equivalent right and an application must be filed for the UK mark.
The situation with EU registered designs, is the same as that with trade marks. Your loss of UK right from your EU design will be replaced with a UK registered design from 01 January 2021. Again there is a strong recommendation to get your applications in soon as ongoing applications will not be included.
Unregistered design rights
At the moment, the UK remains part of the EU unregistered community design system. This means that two- and three-dimensional designs in the UK or an EU Member State can be automatically protected in both territories as unregistered Community designs. This right provides three years of protection from copying.
It has been agreed that any unregistered design rights arising before the end of the transition period will remain protected for the 3 years within the EU. However, any designs disclosed after the period, will only have protection in the UK.
Many rules and treaties in respect of copyright protection in the UK and EU are independent of the UK’s membership in the EU and therefore will not be affected. However, the arrangements that are in place through the EU, such as portability of online content is still to be negotiated under the Withdrawal Agreement.
As the European Patent Office and the European Patent Convention is not connected to the EU, it again will not be affected by Brexit. Existing patents providing protection in the UK will not be affected, as will any future applications.
If you have any questions regarding your intellectual property, please do not hesitate to get in touch with the IP team today!