The UK government has not yet invoked Article 50 of the
Treaty on European Union (this is likely to happen by the end of
March), and the UK's actual exit from the European Union is at
least two years away. However, it is clear that transitional
provisions are required to preserve EU Trade Mark owners'
existing rights in the UK from the date of Brexit, and the UK
Chartered Institute of Trade Mark Attorneys (CITMA) has already
been working hard on the details of those provisions. CITMA is
currently discussing its proposals with the UK Intellectual
CITMA has recently issued an update on its discussions with the
UKIPO regarding the various options for the transitional
arrangements. CITMA's latest update can be viewed here.
In summary, CITMA is considering in detail two options whereby
existing EU Trade Marks will be entered onto the UK Trade Mark
Register as corresponding national rights upon the UK's exit
from the EU. The first option ("the Montenegro model")
would allow all existing EU Trade Mark Registrations to be
automatically entered onto the UK Register as UK Trade Mark
Registrations. The second option ("the Tuvalu model")
would require EUTM owners to file a form to request extension of
their existing EUTM Registrations to the UK.
Both of these options raise issues regarding the UK's intent
to use requirement, non-use periods, seniority, pending
applications and ongoing proceedings. CITMA has now assessed all of
these areas and provided detailed analysis on how such issues would
be dealt with (as can be seen at the link above).
CITMA is continuing to discuss the proposals with the UKIPO with
a view to protecting the rights and interests of EU Trade Mark
Abel & Imray continues to be at the heart of European IP and
we are putting in place arrangements to ensure we retain rights of
representation before the EUIPO, so that we can continue to
represent all of our clients in EU trade mark and design matters no
matter what form Brexit takes. We are monitoring developments
carefully and will update you as new information emerges.
In the meantime, please do not hesitate to let us know if you
have any questions relating to Brexit and how it will impact EU
Trade Marks. You can also read our earlier newsletter on Brexit and
Trade Marks here.
The content of this article is intended to provide a general
guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought
about your specific circumstances.
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1.The trade mark shall not entitle the proprietor to prohibit its use in relation to goods which have been put on the market in the Community under that trade mark by the proprietor or with his consent.
The General Court has upheld a Board of Appeal decision dismissing an opposition to the figurative EUTM mark CHOCOLOVE, based on earlier marks for CHOCOLATE, CSOKICSÖ and a figurative mark CHOCOLATE BROWN.
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