Brexit and Trade Marks

At the time of writing, we are less than a month into the 24 month transition period before the UK leaves the EU. Although we do not think there is any immediate risk to an existing IP portfolio, there may be some worth in taking into account the likely results of Brexit if you are considering the protection of your intangible assets in the future.

Registered trade marks (and service marks) are protected in the UK by application to the UK Intellectual Property Office, but it is also possible to obtain an EU wide trade mark by application to the EU equivalent in Spain. Both systems run in parallel, so an EU trade mark provides protection in an EU Member States – which includes (at least for now) the UK.

Looking forward, it is not clear whether an existing EU trade mark will continue to provide any protection in the UK. It may be possible to split the EU registration into two (EU registration and UK registration), but at this early stage, the position is not clear.

For that reason, we are urging our clients to be cautious if they are considering a new EU trade mark application or if an existing EU trade mark is due for renewal. For a more detailed review of your IP portfolio, please contact us.