As you know, the UK will be leaving the EU at the end of the transition period – currently set for 31 December 2020 and with the UK government adamant that they will not be extending the date. This will affect EU trade marks & designs, in that they will cease to have effect in the UK. To protect rights owners, the UK has said that for any EU registrations that are granted before the end of the transition, a corresponding UK registration will be created, free of charge. That’s great, but what about applications that are pending?
For those, applicants can still retain the filing date (etc), but they will have to make a new application to the UK Registry, and there will be a fee for this. The typical time to registration for an EU trade mark is about 4-6 months, so we are now going into an uncertain time when you can file an EU trade mark application, but you won’t know whether it will cover all 28 countries or just 27. We’ve decided to solve that for our clients with a one-off Brexit offer aimed at letting you carry on with confidence.
If we file an EU trade mark application for you between now and the end of the transition period (whenever that is), we guarantee that the application will cover the UK. That means, if it is still pending when the transition period ends, we will file a fresh UK application for you claiming the date of the EU application, at no extra cost to you. We will cover the filing fee, so you can carry on filing with confidence.
Now, we can’t promise that either the UK (or the EU) application will be successful – we can’t change the rules for allowability! So if the EU Registry refuses the application before the transition period ends, that’s that. Equally, the UK Registry might refuse the new application. And for new cases after we’ve left the EU completely, you will need to file applications in both the EU and the UK offices if you want to cover all 28 countries. But in the meantime, between now and the end of the transition, we’re taking out the uncertainty for you.
They say that necessity is the mother of invention, and we would certainly agree. The headlines in recent weeks have been about the rush to develop the vaccines, tests, medical equipment and so on that we need to combat The Virus, but we’ve spotted a number of smaller innovations that are inspired by the lockdown. One that caught our eye is a keyring shaped with both a hook for pulling doors open without the need to touch them, and a pusher for prodding lift buttons, door entry pads and so on. Integrating this into a keyring is a clever move, it means that it is always to hand – especially if you’re coming onto or out of a building. We have some on order for our employees and partners!
Another example (who came to us asking for help) was a company that made signs and stands for exhibitions, all of which had been cancelled leaving them with no revenue for the foreseeable future. No matter, the owner of the business sat down with his favourite CAD package and designed a range of stands for hand sanitiser dispensers. We then registered the designs for him – along with the trade mark that he had thought up. They are free-standing, so can be instantly located wherever they are needed. The design is one that the company can make using its existing production facilities, so the owner now has a viable business again! Have a look at www.sanstand.co.uk for more details – we’re pleased to see the notice at the foot of the page warning that the designs are registered.
Until next time...