Category Archives: EU Trade Marks

The Impact of Brexit – What We Know Now

On 23rd June 2016 the UK public voted to leave the European Union. Despite the vote to leave the EU, the UK will continue to abide by EU laws until exit is finalized.

Before the process of leaving the EU can be put into motion, the UK will need to invoke Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty, which has yet to occur. Once Article 50 is invoked, it is expected that the terms of exit will take around 2 years to establish. This 2 year period is set in the Lisbon Treaty but can be extended with the agreement of the 27 remaining EU member countries.

During these next few months it will become clearer how the impact of leaving the EU will affect European intellectual property rights. Of particular significance will be whether the UK decides to join other trade agreements such as the European Free Trade Agreement, or be a part of the European Economic Area.

Below is a summary of the changes we can expect:

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Changes at the European Union Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO)

It has been just over a month since the Office for Harmonisation in the Internal Market (OHIM) became the Europe Union Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO). In addition to the renaming of the office, a number of changes to procedures and pricing came into effect on 23rd March 2016, the first of a two stage process. The second stage will take effect on 1st October 2017.

Of all the changes made, the most significant for trade mark proprietors to consider is the 6 month period which started on 23rd March 2016, during which specifications of goods of trade marks filed prior to 22 June 2012 which recite the full Nice class heading can be amended to particularise ‘orphan’ terms, under Article 28(8) of the amending EU trade mark Regulation. This 6 month period is non-extendible, so consideration of registered marks applied for during the relevant period is vital.

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