Important update from the IPO regarding International trade marks and designs

The Intellectual Property Office (IPO) has confirmed that all international trade mark and design registrations that designate the EU will continue to apply in the UK in the event of a ‘no deal’ Brexit.

Previously the UK Government stated it was working with the World Intellectual Property Office (WIPO) to provide continued protection for rights filed through the Madrid (trade marks) and Hague (designs) systems which designate the EU.

This has now been confirmed by the IPO in a communication to stakeholders this week, including The Chartered Institute of Trade Mark Attorneys (CITMA), saying; “To ensure legal certainty we will implement a domestic fix to provide continued coverage of international registrations designating the EU.”

On exit from the EU, which in the case of a ‘no deal’ could be as early as 29th March 2019, the IPO will create a UK domestic trade mark or design for organisations that filed through the Madrid or Hague systems and specified the EU as one of their jurisdictions. They have also stated that they will maintain discussions with WIPO in the run up to the exit deadline, to ensure that all newly created rights accurately reflect the EU rights on the International registers.

For anyone looking to use the Madrid and Hague systems for future registrations, the UK will need to be specified as a separate jurisdiction to the EU, but otherwise they will continue to operate as normal .