On 23rd June the UK public voted narrowly to leave the European Union. The vote was advisory, not binding, but at present we think the chances are better than 50% that the UK will eventually leave.
However, from here to there will be a long road. The process will take two years from the point where the UK gives formal notice to the EU. This will not occur until we have a new Prime Minister, which will take several months. After that, there may be a new election, with unpredictable results. As a result, nothing will change for over two years.
After that time, the EU option will no longer be open to trade mark or design applicants who want to cover the UK, the world’s 5th or 6th largest economy (depending on exchange rates). Instead, future applicants will have the choice of the UK national registration systems, which are fast, cheap, reliable and highly experienced, or the International protection routes offered by WIPO under the Madrid Protocol and Hague Agreement.
It will of course be possible to protect all existing European registrations in the UK, though the details of the transitional regimes will take some time to emerge.
We will keep you informed of developments as they unfold, and will be happy to answer any specific questions you may have. Whatever the outcome, Jenkins is proud to be an Anglo-German firm, and our rights to represent our clients in filing and prosecuting EU designs and trade marks will be unaffected.