Owners of EU trade marks and Community designs that were filed but still pending on 31st December 2020 have until 30th September 2021 to refile UK applications and claim the EU priority date.
At the end of the Brexit transition period, owners of registered EU trade marks and Community designs obtained comparable UK registrations automatically. The same did not apply to pending applications. Instead, applicants were given a nine-month grace period in which to refile a comparable UK application with the same priority, filing and UK seniority date as the original EU application.
For applicants whose EU trade marks were or still are involved in long opposition proceedings, this grace period allows for a UK application to be backdated potentially by several years and so the 30th September deadline is not to be missed.
If you own an EU trade mark or Community design that was still pending at the end of the Brexit transition period, we recommend that you refile a UK application now to take advantage of the earlier EU priority and thereby maximise protection. Conversely, those looking to clear a new brand for use or registration in the UK must take extra care at this time due to the lasting and sometimes hidden reach of prior EU rights under the Brexit transition rules.
If you have any questions, please contact our Trade Mark team who can help you ensure that you have comprehensive brand protection in place in the UK and EU.