As the UK is still in the EU (see Bulletin No. 2), EU trade mark and design applications filed now and for the foreseeable future will continue to cover both the UK and the EU. Between now and Brexit, the authorities will put in place mechanisms for dividing out EU trade marks and designs into separate ones covering the UK and the “EU-of-27” (as the remaining member states are endearingly known).
Yes. Well, probably.
The problem is that it is not that easy. With trade marks, there are several ways this could be done, at differing times - for example, at the time of Brexit, or within a certain time period after, such as 6 months, or on renewal - and with differing processes - for example, automatically, or through the existing conversion process (which involves examination), or on re-registration (which does not). With designs, on the other hand, there is no existing conversion process, nothing. Entirely new legislation would be needed.
Many of our clients are choosing to file separate EU and UK applications for any new trade marks and designs that they intend to use in both the UK and other parts of the European Union. This may double up on protection in the UK, and cost more now (although we have cost-effective “EU + UK” packages). However, it does away with the need to divide out EU trade marks and designs later, and the associated cost of doing so. And the uncertainty.
Coronavirus - UK IPO, EPO and EU IPO extensions and support
A simple overview of the current status from IPOs. Last updated 18th May 2020.
Is it unethical to patent?
The Covid-19 pandemic has prompted many companies to invest time and effort in developing technology that is aimed at helping care for, test, or treat people suffering from the disease. In normal times, these might be considered normal commercial activities and would be considered for patenting without a second thought. However, the fact that these developments are typically not being motivated by pure commercial gain, but by a desire to do something for the public good causes many companies to question whether or not they should seeks patents or any other form of intellectual property protection.
Morgan Motors Case Study
Morgan Motor Company originally thought their most important asset was their range of hand built sports cars, after working Wynne-Jones, they realised their most important asset was their brand.
UPDATE - UK IPO support for those affected by Coronavirus
Exceptional extensions of time limits at the EUIPO to end on 18 May 2020.
The Executive Director of the EUIPO has announced that the all time limits on trade mark and design matters at the EUIPO expiring between 9 March 2020 and 17 May 2020 will expire on 18 May 2020. The EUIPO is not extending these time limits further.
If you have any questions then please get in touch with your usual Wynne-Jones contact.
BREAKING NEWS - German Federal Constitutional Court decides on UPC complaint
The German Federal Constitutional Court has now issued its long-awaited decision (source) in case 2 BvR 739/17 which was a complaint against the German Ratification Law under which Germany was to ratify the UPC.
EPO announces extensions to deadlines due to COVID-19
On Sunday 15 March 2020 the EPO published a notice advising it is invoking the provisions of Rule 134(2) EPC, and has extended all periods expiring on or after publication of the notice to 17 April 2020. This may be extended by the EPO upon publication of a further notice.