Brexit 2020 – What does this mean if you own an EU Trade Mark?

Following the decisions of the UK and EU Parliaments to approve the EU Withdrawal Agreement, the UK left the EU at 11pm on 31 January 2020.

The Agreement provides for a transition period until 31 December 2020 during which there will be no change to the law or practice of the law in relation to Intellectual property.

With regards to trade marks, from 1 January 2021, a European Trade Mark (“EUTM”) will no longer protect trade marks in the UK. On 1 January 2021, the UK Intellectual Property Office will create a comparable UK trade mark for all right holders with an existing EUTM. You will not need to pay for your equivalent UK trade mark and you will keep the original EUTM filing date.

Existing EUTMs will still protect trade marks in EU member states. UK businesses can still apply to the EU Intellectual Property Office for an EUTM.

There will be no changes to UK-registered trade marks as a result of the UK leaving the EU.

If you have an EUTM application that’s still pending on 1 January 2021, you’ll be able to apply to register a comparable UK trade mark in the 9 months after 1 January 2021.

If you need any advice on managing your intellectual property portfolio please contact Pippa Aitken on 0191 2267878 or email

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