The UK departed the EU on 31 January 2020. The ratified withdrawal agreement provides a transition period from 1 February 2020 to 31 December 2020.
During this transition period, the Intellectual Property (IP) system in the UK and EU will continue as it is until 31 December 2020.
On the 31 December 2020 the UK Intellectual Property Office will convert almost 1.4 million European union trade marks and 700,000 European union designs to comparable UK rights. These will come into effect on 1 January 2021.
According to the Withdrawal agreement the comparable trade marks will:
- be recorded on the UK trade mark register
- have the same legal status as if you had applied for and registered it under UK law
- keep the original EUTM filing date
- keep the original priority or UK seniority dates
- be a fully independent UK trade mark that can be challenged, assigned, licensed or renewed separately from the original EUTM
The trade mark owners will not:
- need to pay for your equivalent or comparable UK trade mark – and there will be as little administration involved as possible
- receive a UK registration certificate, but you will be able to access details about the trade mark on GOV.UK
As for the European Trade Mark applications pending on 31 December 2020 – the applicants will be able:
- apply to register a comparable UK trade mark in the 9 months after 1 January 2021
- retain the earlier filing date of the pending EUTM
- claim any valid international priority you had on the pending EU application, along with any UK seniority claims recorded against it