Brexit Direction Sign

Brexit Direction Sign

In June of this year, citizens of the United Kingdom voted in favor of leaving the European Union. This is a monumental step which historians will analyze in order to understand why and how it became possible. In the meantime, lawyers will have to figure out the consequences, including how to untangle this 60 year-old relationship.

European patents should not be affected by Brexit because the Munich Convention is not a European Union instrument. It currently has 38 Contracting States and some of them (for example Switzerland, Norway and Turkey) are not members of the European Union. On the other hand, the “Unitary Patent” is a creation of the European Union and Brexit will have heavy consequences on the system.

Similarly, Community trademarks (now European Union Trademarks) were created by Council Regulation (EC) No 40/94 of 20 December 1993, and the regulation in its current form does not say a word about what happens when a Member State leaves the Union.

The main feature of EU trademarks is that they are not a bundle of various national rights, but trademarks with their own regime (with a “unitary character”): the owner obtains a single right valid in the 28 Member States. As a consequence, Brexit means that EU trademarks will no longer be recognized in the United Kingdom.

In theory, EU trademark owners could simply lose their rights in the United Kingdom. However in practice, economists say that Brexit could drive international businesses from the UK, and the UK government will certainly try to find ways to avoid this outcome. In this context, the UK will have to find a legislative solution to facilitate the conversion of EU trademarks into UK national trademarks. This conversion could either be automatic or upon an application. What will have to be decided is the cost of this conversion, in particular the fees that will have to be paid to the UK Intellectual Property Office.

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Steins & Associates, P.C.

Lawfirm Specializing in Patents, Trademarks, Copyrights, Trade Secrets and general Business Law. Offices in San Diego County and Orange County

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Steins & Associates, P.C.

Lawfirm Specializing in Patents, Trademarks, Copyrights, Trade Secrets and general Business Law. Offices in San Diego County and Orange County

http://steins-patents.com/wp-content/themes/steins/images/steins_logo.png Monday - Friday 8:30am - 5:00pm Credit Card, PayPal, Check, Cash varies - free phone consultation
23046 Avenida de la Carlota, Suite 600 Laguna Hills, CA 95376
714-549-1198 877-4STEINS 714-549-1197