BREXIT TRANSITION PERIOD AND INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY RIGHTS

Q&A SESSION

BREXIT TRANSITION PERIOD AND INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY RIGHTS

The UK formally left the EU on 31 January 2020, as known. The transition period, scheduled between 1 February 2020 and 31 December 2020 in order for completion of changes to take place in many legal and political issues, will end in around 4 months.

United Kingdom Intellectual Property Office (UKIPO) released elaborate statements on this process. Above all, the EU law is kept being enforced same as before during the transition period. Therefore, the EU trademarks and design will remain to be effective across the UK during the transition period.

Will any trademarks and designs, currently registered at the EU, be protected in the United Kingdom?

Trademarks and designs, which are currently registered, and which will be entitled to be registered until the end of the transition period, will be converted into national trademarks and designs by the UKIPO during this period, which means that the current registered owners of any EU trademark and design do not need to file a separate application for registration in the UK.

Will the actions, taken at the EU, be applicable for the nationally protected trademarks and designs at the UK?

NO. All converted trademarks and designs will be deemed registered at the UK as of 21 January 2021. Therefore, any and all actions (such as renewal, transfer, etc.) will be performed and carried out at the UK in compliance with the UK law independently of the EU thereafter. 

So, we highly recommend you to not to forget performing the renewal actions at the United Kingdom!!! Trademarks and designs need to be renewed at the UKIPO so that they will remain applicable at the United Kingdom.

What should the owners of trademarks and designs, for which an application has been filed at the EU, but which have not been entitled to registration yet at the end of the transition period, do?

A 9-month period has been prescribed with respect to the applications for such trademarks and designs in a manner to start as of the end of the transition period. The applications for trademarks and designs at the EU will be had registered as national applications with the date of application at the EU maintained, to the extent that the application fee is paid at the United Kingdom.

ATTENTION: UKIPO will add the code UK009 before the trademarks and designs of EU origin to facilitate follow-up of trademark and design registrations, and to prevent any possible confusion.

What will the status of patents, currently registered at and before the European Patent Office (EPO), be?

European Patent Office (EPO) is an international organization established based on the European Patent Convention. It is independent of the EU and has 38 member countries with 27 of them being the EU member countries, and the remaining 11 countries (including the United Kingdom) not being the EU member countries. Therefore, the Brexit process will not have any effect on the patents registered at and before the European Patent Office. Your such patents will be kept being protected at and before the EPO member countries including the United Kingdom.

What is the effect of the Transition Period?

During the transition period which will continue until the end of 2020 the GDPR will continue to apply in the UK.

Will the GDPR still apply when UK leaves the EU?

The GDPR is an EU Regulation and it will no longer apply to the UK from the end of the transition period.  For the companies operating inside UK, UK data protection law (“DPA”) will be applied.

 However, GDPR will still apply to any organizations in Europe who send you data, how to transfer personal data to the UK in line with the GDPR.

What will the UK data protection law be?

The Data Protection Act 2018 (DPA 2018), which currently supplements and tailors the GDPR within the UK, will continue to apply.

How does Brexit affect international data transfers?

Since UK is no longer an EU member state, the UK has been reclassified as a ‘third country’. From the end of the transition period, unless the EU Commission makes an adequacy decision, GDPR transfer rules will apply to any data coming from the EEA into the UK.

Under the GDPR, the transfer of personal data from the EEA to third countries and international organizations is permitted only in certain circumstances:

-           If the European Commission has issued an adequacy decision, stating that there is an adequate level of data protection.

-           If appropriate safeguards are in place, such as BCRs (binding corporate rules) or SCCs (standard contractual clauses).

How will the Existing Contracts be affected by Brexit?

Brexit has no direct effect on the contractual relations. However, at the end of the transition period, transfers of data from the EU to the UK will be subject to local transfer requirements in the sender’s country.

Therefore, in international relations, UK companies might be asked to comply with additional safeguards for the international data transfers. Then, it becomes important to review the continuing contracts since some clauses may require revisions after Transition period.

Reference:

https://ico.org.uk/media/for-organisations/documents/2617966/information-rights-and-eot-faqs.pdf