Joint statement European IP organisations regarding the negotiations concerning Brexit

Print this page 28-03-2018
IP10111

Statement: " [...] 2.1 Existing rights
Taking into account what has been said above we think that all existing EUTM registrations should be automatically entered onto the UK Trade Mark Register as UK trade mark registrations with the same scope of protection, registration date and, where applicable, priority and seniority. We suggest that the same approach is applied to RCDs. In the case of EUTM registrations, the EU 27 should propose to and encourage the UK government to provide that owners of EUTMs applicable in the UK should be deemed to have stated a bona fide intention to use the trade mark in the UK. The position under other EU Regulations, such as those relating to geographical indications and plant varieties, will also require consideration, including on the need to adopt national legislation in the UK to protect them where necessary. This way of handling existing rights, as suggested above, would provide a high level of certainty, because it would not require any action from the right holders. They would, in other words, not miss protection in the UK because of a missing action. It is apparent that particularly SMEs will benefit from this, but as indicated above, also the consumers. During our meeting we learned that the UK Intellectual Property Office (UKIPO) is able to cope with this. But being aware that we are talking about some 1 million trade marks, it is important that we can obtain relevant assurance from the UKIPO.

 

2.2 Pending applications
We suggest that further proceedings concerning EUTM or RCD applications, which are still pending at the time of actual exit from the EU, i.e. when the UK ceases to be a Member, are clearly defined taking into consideration all the legal consequences. It should be decided whether the EUIPO shall continue to handle such applications until registration with respect to the territory of the EU as it was on a date of filing of such application (i.e. including territory of the UK) or the UK part should be examined by the UKIPO separately. Whichever solution is adopted, EUTM or RCD applications or registrations (if examined by the EUIPO until registration) should be automatically treated in the UK as a corresponding UK right (with the same scope of protection, filing date and, when applicable, priority date), without any need for the applicant/owner to take any step or make any payment. There should of course be the opportunity to ‘opt out’ if an applicant/owner does not wish to have protection in the UK. If it is decided that such pending EU applications shall be further examined by the EUIPO, they need to be entered onto the UK register for a time of their examination by the EUIPO so that any third party can be aware that the suitable right could potentially exist as a separate UK right.

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Read the full text of the statement here.