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Positive Update on EU Trademark and Industrial Design Rights Post-Brexit

The UK government has published an updated Draft Withdrawal Agreement, highlighting consensus on the future of existing EU IP rights in the UK.

As many are no doubt aware, an updated draft of the Agreement on the withdrawal of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland from the European Union and the European Atomic Energy Community was published last month.

The 19 March draft highlights all the points of consensus between the EU and the UK – the continuation of EU-wide IP rights currently effective in Britain being among them. It is now virtually official that all EU trademarks and industrial designs registered before the end of the Brexit transition period will continue to be protected qua UK registrations.

This is good news for intellectual property owners who may, until last month, have had lingering concerns about the future of their EU-registered rights in the UK.

Naturally, after Brexit is realised, anyone contemplating a UK market entry will no longer be able to rely on an EU registration for the protection of their brands or product designs. Separate registrations must be procured in the UK, which would mean additional costs in administrative and attorney fees.

The deadline, for anyone interested in securing their rights in the UK through an EU registration before the end of the transition period, is (tentatively) set for the last day of the year 2020.

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