BREXIT – Continued
On February 28, 2018, the EU Commission published their proposal for a solution to various issues related to registered and unregistered IP rights in the United Kingdom. Not surprisingly, the Commission concludes that the rights in Britain as a result of their membership of the EU should also apply after Britain has left the EU. This implies the following:
- For registered EU trademarks and designs, a UK registration is established with the same scope, priority and validity. If an EU trademark registration is affiliated with seniority for the United Kingdom, this must also apply in the future. If the EU right at the time of implementation of Brexit was subject to opposition or revocation request, the corresponding national British right will also depend on the outcome of the EU case.
- For unregistered EU designs (the three-year protection from the first publication), there should also be equivalent protection in the UK.
The Commission also proposed that the entire process of converting EU rights to national British rights should be free of charge for the rightholder.
It is very likely that the solution will be as suggested, though there may be doubts as to whether Britain will allow the conversion process to be free of charge for the rightholder.
As the proposal is part of a much larger proposal by the Commission, it will of course be part of the ongoing negotiations, why it is difficult to predict the outcome.