Diserio Martin O'Connor & Castiglioni LLP

UNITED KINGDOM VOTES TO LEAVE THE EUROPEAN UNION – IMPLICATIONS FOR HOLDERS OF INTELELCTUAL PROPERTY REGISTRATIONS IN THE EUIPO

June 24, 2016

As we have all heard by now, the UK voted to leave the European Union.

The result of this decision may have an impact on European Union trade mark registrations (OHIM/EUIPO) and Community designs. The European Patent Office (EPO) is governed by the European Patent Convention (EPC) and is not an EU institution. The UK will remain a member state of the EPC and it will still be possible to file European patent applications designating the UK.

Over the next weeks and months the UK will decide how to deal with EU trademark registrations.  This will presumably be part of the negotiations on various issues as the UK plans to exit the EU, as this decision has implications across various government bodies.

In the meantime, all trademark rights and registrations remain in full force and effect.  European Union Trade Marks and Registered Community Designs remain valid in the UK.  We do not advise any change in filing or registration strategy at the moment. 

News reports indicate that the transition will occur over at least two years, but our associates have indicated it will likely take five to ten years.  We have been advised the UK will likely seek to negotiate an alternative level of membership in the EU and access to various EU offices and systems.  For example, negotiations could result in the UK continuing its participation in the European Union Intellectual Property Office. 

Please note that we are certainly monitoring the situation closely and will provide further updates as developments occur.

For further information please contact Matthew C. Wagner, Chair of DMOC’s IP Department, at 203-358-0800 and mwagner@dmoc.com.