From 1 January 2021, EU trade marks ceased to have protection in the UK. As part of the EU withdrawal process, owners of registered EU trade marks (which were granted before 1 January 2021) will have had comparable UK trade marks automatically generated by the UK Intellectual Property Office (UKIPO). The agreement was for those with existing EU trade marks.
Comparable marks were not created where the EU trade mark was still in the application stage on 31 December 2020.
However, it was agreed that the owners of these EU trade mark applications (as they were on 31 December) could apply for a UK trade mark by 30 September and retain the dates from the EU trade mark. This offered these trade mark holders a ‘grace period’ and offered a nine-month window for trade mark holders to register their EU trade mark in the UK.
What this means is that a UK trade mark application filed now can take advantage of the earlier trade mark application date of the EU application.
For example, if an EU application was filed on 5 November 2020, it would have been in the application stage on 31 December 2020. If we file a UK application before 30 September based on the EU application the UK application will benefit from an effective filing date of 5 November 2020.
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