Brexit – its impact on Trade Marks and Designs in the UK...
This week is a historic week in which Article 50 is triggered signaling the UK’s exit from the EU.
Before we go any further, let’s be clear about one thing: despite some of the comments coming from certain
firms in some other member states, nothing at all will happen for at least 2 years. Nevertheless, we recognize
that our clients want to know what the future holds after Brexit. This is what we know, and can guess, at the
Laos became a Member of the Madrid Protocol as of 7 March 2016.
The Ministry of Commerce & Industry are currently in discussions to make significant changes to the way in which Trade Mark filings are handled and current proposals indicate that official fees are likely to increase by 100%. Details as to when this will take effect have not yet been finalised but notification confirming the same is expected soon.
On 28 February 2018, the EU Commission published its first draft proposal as to the terms of withdrawal of the UK from the European Union, outlining how existing EU trade marks and designs will be treated vis-a-vis the UK following Brexit.
Although this is a draft document that is yet to be ratified by the UK government or UK Intellectual Property Office, it clearly sets out the EU's preferred stance as to the treatment of IP rights. It will now be sent to the EU parliament Brexit Group before then being transmitted to the UK government and bodies.
The UK High Court recently referred some key questions to the CJEU in a trade mark infringement action brought by Sky Plc, the answers to which could have a significant impact on the future filing strategies of brand owners in the EU and UK.
Mr Justice Arnold, acknowledging the 'general public importance' of the issues raised in this case, referred the following questions to the European Court for guidance, firstly on the issue of the clarity of broad terms in goods/services contained in a trade mark registration.
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