EU 25 Feb 2019

No Deal Brexit – impacts on trademarks and designs

UPDATE 2020-02-14. We now know more about the process after Brexit. Please read the updated information: How Brexit effects your EU trademarks.


If the UK leave the EU on March 29, 2019, without a withdrawal agreement there will be impacts on European Union trademarks and Community designs according to The Government of the UK’s guideline concerning this topic. Brand owners should preferably be making contingency plans for a No Deal Brexit.

EU trademarks and designs that are already registered on the day of the exit will automatically be granted an equivalent right in the UK without any loss of priority, filing or seniority dates. These same provisions will apply to international registrations designating the EU through the Madrid and Hague Systems respectively.

Pending EU trademark and Community design applications will lose their territorial effect in the UK. However, applications that are ongoing at the date of exit will for a period of 9 months be able to file corresponding national applications that will obtain equivalent protection as the EU right. The government will recognize filing dates and claims to earlier priority and UK seniority recorded on the corresponding EU application.

Exhaustion – IP rights are considered as exhausted in the UK once they have been put on the market anywhere in the EEA by the right holder also after the UK has exited the EU, as the UK is currently part of a regional European Economic Area (EEA) exhaustion scheme. However, this does not apply vice versa. Goods placed on the UK market by the right holder after the UK has exited the EU, will not be considered exhausted in the EEA. This means that businesses exporting or importing these goods from the UK to the EEA might need the right holder’s consent.

Patents are not affected by Brexit.

Since there is a risk of a No Deal Brexit on 29 March 2019, The Trade Marks (Amendment etc) (EU Exit) Regulations 2018 completed their passage through the UK parliament on 6 February 2019 will come into force.

To find out more, please visit UK government’s website 

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