Following the achievement of the long-discussed Withdrawal Agreement, the United Kingdom definitively left the European Union at midnight of 31 January 2020.
The agreement provides for a transition period that entered into force the day after and will end on December 31, 2020, during which things will remain substantially unchanged. In particular, therefore, until the end of the current year, all EU IP regulations will continue to apply in the United Kingdom, as well as the rights of representation in ongoing proceedings before the European Union Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO). In other words, EUTM and EUTD Application will continue to include UK until the end of the transition period.
At the end of the transition period, the United Kingdom will convert all existing trademark and design registrations of the European Union into comparable UK rights, which will therefore enter into force on 1 January 2021. The conversion will be automatic and free of charge.
With regard to trademark and design applications which are still pending at the end of the transition period, the owners will be entitled to file a corresponding application in the United Kingdom within the following nine months.
Although many procedural aspects will be defined only over the next months, the Withdrawal Agreement has therefore been structured in such a way as to ensure continued protection of rightholders at the end of the transition period.