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Will Brexit Cause Your IP to Exit Europe?

Posted on Jun 29, 2016 in Blog

On June 23, 2016, the UK voted to withdraw from the European Union (EU). How this vote will ultimately play out on the European and worldwide economies is the subject of mass speculation. It is certain, however, the withdrawal will ultimately affect important UK intellectual property rights.  Withdrawal from the EU will not affect the relationship between the UK and the European Patent Office (EPO) — the EPO is not an EU institution, and it will remain possible to file European patent applications that designate the UK.   On the other hand, once the UK’s withdrawal from the EU is effective, which will likely not be for two years, withdrawal will affect UK trademark registrations obtained through the European Union Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO). Ultimately, it will no longer be possible to file an application at the EUIPO to cover the UK, and perhaps more important, existing European Union Trademarks (EUTM) will no longer cover trademark rights in the UK if the UK and the EU don’t reach some agreement on this issue prior to withdrawal.

No procedures are in place to replace the EUTM for UK marks, so it is not possible at this time to recommend what steps will be necessary for continued protection of those marks in the UK after withdrawal. We will stay abreast of all changes in trademark laws affecting the UK, and will advise of future provisions when they become available.

Although there is nothing to do at this time with respect to UK patent and trademark status, it might be a good time to consider filing new European patent and trademark applications, or paying any pending fees that may be due in the near future, while the dollar is strong against the Euro and the British pound. If you would like further information regarding payment or filing opportunities, please contact us.

– by Eric Marzluf

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