Intellectual Property in the UK from 1st January 2021

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Intellectual Property in the UK from 1st January 2021

As you will likely be aware, the UK formally left the EU on 31st January 2020 (commonly referred to as “Brexit”) and is now approaching the end of the “transition period”, due to expire on 31st December 2020. This email is to provide you with an update on intellectual property in the United Kingdom and European Union Member States at the end of the transition period and moving forward as of 1st January 2021.

The key facts are set out below and we can assure you of continuity of representation and service for your Intellectual Property Rights going forward.

Patents – there is no change to the UK and European patent systems. The UK will continue to be a party to the European patent system which is a non-EU organisation. Patent protection obtained through the European patent system will continue to provide the opportunity to obtain protection in the list of countries which you can find here: https://www.epo.org/about-us/foundation/member-states.html. You will see that the list of countries extends well beyond EU member countries.

Trade Marks – existing UK registered trademarks will continue to be enforced as before. Existing EU Registered trademarks will continue to be enforceable in EU member countries after 31st December 2020, but will no longer be enforceable in the UK. We have taken all necessary steps to transfer representation for our clients’ EU Registered trademarks to our sister company Bailey Walsh Europe Limited, which is based in Ireland and is an authorised representative before the EUIPO now, and beyond 31st December 2020 so as to ensure continuity of representation.

For all existing EU registered Trademarks, which will no longer afford protection to rights holders in the UK, the UK IPO will automatically generate the equivalent UK registered trademarks on 1st January 2021, and these will be enforceable in the UK and effective as a UK trade mark registration.

No action is required to be taken by our clients and associates.

Registered Design Protection – as with EU trade marks, EU registered designs will remain in place for enforcement in EU member countries after 31st December 2020 and an equivalent UK registration will automatically be generated by the UK IPO on 1st January 2021. Again, we have taken the necessary steps to transfer representation for the European registered designs from Bailey Walsh & Co LLP to our authorised sister company Bailey Walsh Europe Limited so that we can continue representation for you in respect of your European registered design rights.

Again, no action is required to be taken by our clients and associates.

We trust that the above provides comfort that IP Rights will be maintained in both the UK and the EU through Bailey Walsh & Co LLP and our sister company Bailey Walsh Europe Limited. Furthermore, we will continue to be able to register a new EU trade mark and registered design protection directly with the EUIPO and therefore provide our competitive costings and efficient service.

If you have any questions or would like further information regarding any of the above, please do not hesitate to contact one of our advisers, David Corbyn or Phil Stephenson, either by email at mail@bailey-walsh.com or by telephone on +44 (0)113 243 3824.

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