Britain votes 'Brexit' - What impact will this have on EUTMs and RCDs?

Published: 24/06/2016

After 43 years of being part of the European Union, the United Kingdom has voted to leave.

This will raise many questions about what happens now to owners of European Union Trade Marks (EUTMs) and Registered Community Designs (RCDs) and the scope of their rights in the United Kingdom.

It is expected that EUTMs and RCDs will in future not apply to the UK. However, there is no immediate change in relation to the laws governing these rights. Owners of EUTMs and RCDs need not panic as their rights remain valid and enforceable in the United Kingdom and there is no immediate loss of IP protection.

It is likely to be months if not years before the position changes substantively. There are likely to be transitional provisions to cover community rights filed before the UK formally leaves the EU. It is too early to speculate how those transitional provisions will develop, but for the time being clients should continue with their existing filing strategies. 

Please be assured that we will keep you up-to-date with any developments and advise on any actions that should be taken in anticipation of changes to the law. 

If you have any particular questions in connection with how your IP rights could be affected by the UK leaving the EU, please contact your usual member of Birketts’ Intellectual Property and Technology Team.

The content of this article is for general information only. Law covered as at June 2016.

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