On 18 January 2019 we reported the UKIPO’s summary guide to Brexit and the impact on IP on the Gov.uk website here. Two key draft pieces of legislation referred to in that guide have now become law, namely the Intellectual Property (Exhaustion of Rights) (EU Exit) Regulations 2019, on 14 February 2019, and the Trade Marks (Amendments etc.) (EU Exit) Regulations, on 13 February 2019.
The Trade Marks (Amendments etc.) (EU Exit) Regulations confirms that on the day of Brexit, which could be 29 March 2019 in the event of a no-deal, all EUIPO registrations will automatically clone onto the UKIPO register; all pending EUTM applications will have a special nine-month priority window to file corresponding UKTMs.
The Intellectual Property (Exhaustion of Rights) (EU Exit) Regulations amends the current IP legislation on exhaustion to include references to the UK in addition to the existing language of the EU or EEA, effectively preserving the status quo, in the case of exhaustion, on Brexit day.
It is still possible that an orderly withdrawal will be negotiated, which will preserve the status quo until at least the end of 2020. We suggest reviewing your IP to ensure it is adequate for your needs whatever the outcome.
If you would like to discuss reviewing your portfolio to ensure protection of your brand in light of Brexit please speak to Charlotte Duly or your usual advisor.