Brexit will impact trademarks, design rights, and parallel imports as outlined below. The UK Intellectual Property Office (UKIPO) has a full list of Brexit’s changes to intellectual property and recommended actions for Rights Owners and businesses on their website here
. We recommend you review the UKIPO website regularly for the most up-to-date content.
Below, we are quoting the most important information from that website:Trademarks:
“From the 1 January 2021, EUTMs will no longer protect trademarks in the UK. Under the Withdrawal Agreement Act, on the 1 January 2021, the IPO will create a comparable UK trademark for all right holders with an existing EU trade mark. Existing EUTMs will still protect trademarks in EU member states. UK businesses can still apply the EU Intellectual Property Office for an EUTM. There will be no changes to UK-registered trademarks as a result of the UK leaving the EU.” Source
“At the end of the transition period (1 January 2021), registered Community designs (RCDs), unregistered Community designs (UCDs), will no longer be valid in the UK. These rights will be immediately and automatically replaced by UK rights. If you own an existing right, you do not need to do anything at this stage.” Source Parallel Imports:
“Goods placed on the UK market by, or with the consent of, the right holder after the transition period may no longer be considered exhausted in the EEA. This means that businesses exporting these IP-protected goods from the UK to the EEA might need the right holder’s consent.
Actions for parallel exporters of IP-protected goods to the EEA:
Check whether you currently export IP-protected goods to the EEA (for example, goods branded with a trademark) that have already been placed on the UK market and where the rights holder’s permission to export those goods is not currently required. You may need to contact the rights holder to get permission to continue after 1 January 2021. The IP rights holder may not provide permission for their IP-protected goods to be parallel exported to the EEA. You may need to review your business arrangements, business model or supply chain based on the outcome of the discussion with the IP rights holder.
Actions for IP rights holders
Businesses that own IP rights (for example, a trademark) may wish to seek legal advice if their IP-protected goods are parallel exported from the UK to the EEA. You will need to consider if you want to allow parallel exports of your IP-protected goods from the UK to the EEA after 1 January 2021.” Source