Recent focus has been upon the impact that the Brexit decision may have upon EUTM rights. There has been an air of negativity that needs to be balanced. We have chosen to look at the positive attributes of the UKTM registration system, and to provide a brief analysis of its merits.
UKTM APPLICATIONS ARE COST EFFECTIVE AND RAPID
The UKIPO works fast. Assuming there are no issues to be resolved, they are currently examining and publishing new UKTM Applications within two to four weeks of filing. With a two month opposition period as standard, the whole process through to the grant of registration can be completed within three to four months. This provides a quick and assured route to achieving a strong base to use for a priority claim, or to be enforceable against third parties.
The UKIPO examiners have a good reputation for taking a thorough but pragmatic approach to the evaluation of an application. Unlike the EUIPO, they will not generally refuse a trademark just because they can find the component elements within a dictionary.
The ‘series’ provision that is available in the UK, but not within the EUTM system, allows a trademark owner to protect more than one version of a trademark within a single Application for a single filing cost.
A UKTM provides more than a mere duplication
TM owners could opt to ‘wait and see’ how the Brexit scenario unfolds. However, if trade to or within the UK is important to your business, our advice is to seek UK protection for your trademarks now. This will not only avoid uncertainty, but also add value.
Here are the calls to action:
- Strive to complete the prosecution process for any pending UKTM applications;
- Renew existing UKTMs, even if you have EUTM registrations in place;
- If you have filed an EUTM within the last six months; consider filing in the UK with priority;
- Seek protection for any new trademarks at the UKIPO and the EUIPO;
- Designate the UK as well as the EU under any International (‘Madrid’) Applications;
- Protect the ‘.co.uk’ domain in addition to the ‘.com’ and ‘.eu’, if available
- Review existing agreements & consider drafting new agreements to cover the Brexit scenario.
Albright IP will continue to be able to meet your requirements before the UKIPO and the EUIPO. Please contact us with any specific concerns or questions, and we will tailor advice directly to suit your circumstances.