On June 23, the United Kingdom (UK) voted to leave the European Union (EU). The Intellectual Property Group at Higgs Fletcher & Mack wants to advise individuals of certain issues that might arise as a consequence of the UK leaving the EU, particularly with respect to European Union Trademarks (EUTM) and European Patents.
While the exit process may take years to negotiate, clients doing business, or wishing to protect their intellectual property in the UK, should take a proactive approach. European Patents will not be affected by the UK’s decision to leave the EU. European Patents are granted by the European Patent Office and is an independent entity from the EU.
On the other hand, clients that do business in the UK will have to adopt new strategies to protect their trademarks and brands within the country. In the past, clients could file a European Union trademark, which provided registration in all 28 EU states, including the UK. While it is still unknown, it is believed that existing EUTM’s will likely be “grandfathered” into the UK’s trademark registration system allowing registrants to convert the EUTM into UK trademark registration. However, in light of the UK’s departure from the EU, clients will need to adopt new strategies going forward.
Higgs Fletcher & Mack is prepared to assist clients with navigating through the UK’s withdraw from the EU. We are considering new trademark filing strategies to protect our clients doing business in the UK, and are willing to share our knowledge with you.
If you have any questions or would like to explore strategies moving forward, please do not hesitate to contact us.