Brexit – What could it mean for EU Trade Marks and Community Designs?

The European Commission and the EU Intellectual Property Office published a stark statement on 1 December 2017 to holders of and applicants for EU trade marks and Community designs on the likely effect of Brexit on their intellectual property rights.

The Notice (a copy of which can be found here) relates to a potential scenario where no agreement is reached between the EU and the UK before the withdrawal date of 30 March 2019. Subject to any transitional arrangements being agreed, the UK will become a ‘third country’ for the purposes of EUTMs and Community designs which will mean that previously protected trademarks and designs will no longer be protected within the UK. They will continue to be protected in the remaining 27 EU countries, but it will be necessary for IP owners to register separate trade marks and designs under the UK system in order to benefit from protection against infringement in the UK.

Rebecca Gardner, Corporate & Commercial Partner at Howat Avraam Solicitors comments: We are a long way from having certainty on the terms of any possible withdrawal agreement that may be reached between the UK and the EU by March 2019. However, this Notice from the European Commission is just one example of how businesses (both UK based and European) could be affected by Brexit and how rights and protections currently taken for granted, could be lost. It will become increasingly important as the withdrawal date approaches, for companies to be aware of how the withdrawal might affect them so that they can minimise the impact of Brexit on their business.


Howat Avraam Solicitors provide Corporate, Commercial, Employment, Intellectual Property and Contract Dispute advice to companies, business owners and individuals.  As business owners ourselves, we have a pragmatic in-house approach to resolving issues before they arise by working alongside our clients, as part of their team.  We are commercial, practical and entrepreneurial in our approach to legal services.

To discuss any Corporate or Commercial matter with us on a no obligation basis, please contact Rebecca Gardner on 020 3735 6700 or email Rebecca at  Alternatively, visit our website at for more information.

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