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Brexit - What You Need to Know Today About Trademarks

  1. No immediate change: The UK's vote to leave the EU after 43 years marks the beginning of a legal procedure whereby the UK may start the formal process of withdrawing from the EU. Notably, the Brexit referendum is advisory, and did not dictate the form of departure. The process involves a negotiation and agreement that will take place over at least two years.

    In short, the UK is currently still a Member State of the EU, and European Union Trademarks and Registered Community Designs (RCDs) will still be given protection in the UK until at least June 2018, and likely longer.

  2. Trademarks and Registered Designs will be affected: However, the UK's exit from the EU will impact trademarks and designs registered through EUIPO (formally WIPO), but it is not yet clear what these ramifications will be, or when they will come into effect.

  3. What should I do now?

    • Consider current trademark portfolio coverage -- If the trademarks covered by

      your EU trademark registrations are only used in the UK, or are used in the UK in addition to other European jurisdictions, you may want to consider filing separate UK trademark applications sooner rather than later.

    • Strategy for future filings -- Consider filing UK trademark and design applications in addition to those filed with the EUIPO for new and/or important products and marks.

    • Consider the effect on commercial agreements, particularly with respect to EU IP rights, EU laws, and dispute resolution.

© 2020 Sterne Kessler


About this Author

Monica Riva Talley, Trademark Attorney, Sterne Kessler, Law Firm

Monica Talley brings more than 17 years of experience protecting some of the world's most recognizable brands to her role as a Director in the firm’s Trademark practice.  Ms. Talley specializes in strategic trademark counseling and portfolio management, developing anti-counterfeiting solutions and strategies, and trademark enforcement. 

Ranked as one of the leading trademark prosecution and strategy attorneys in Washington, DC, Ms. Talley is particularly noted for her global brand protection and commercialization strategies, and is lauded by clients for utilizing “her broad IP savvy...

Tracy-Gene Durkin, Mechanical Patent Trademark Attorney, Sterne Kessler law firm

Ms. Durkin leads the Mechanical Patent and Trademark Group.  With over twenty years of experience obtaining and enforcing intellectual property rights, she melds her expertise with utility and design patents, trademarks, and copyrights to create a unique IP protection strategy to meet her clients' individual needs.  Ms. Durkin’s experience includes helping clear new products and trademarks for use in the marketplace, selecting appropriate IP protection, and enforcing such protection through mediation, litigation and licensing.  She is sought out for her knowledge of design patents, brand development strategies and eliminating copycat consumer products from the marketplace to prevent the devaluation of IP rights