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Expert Insights

22 March 2021

Brexit and intellectual property: Gibraltar, the Isle of Man and the Channel Islands

The dust is continuing to settle after the end of the Brexit transition period and, whilst there are still changes to be negotiated for many of us, it is a useful time to think about where else trade mark and design protection may be required.

Where an EU trade mark (EUTM) or Registered Community Design (RCD) was registered by 31 December 2020, the UKIPO automatically created a comparable UK registration without charge. However, Brexit has also had an impact on British Overseas Territories.

Where an EU trade mark (EUTM) or Registered Community Design (RCD) was registered by 31 December 2020, the UKIPO automatically created a comparable UK registration without charge. However, Brexit has had an impact on British Overseas Territories. The most significant impact is on protection in Gibraltar.

Gibraltar

Before the end of the transition period, it was widely understood EUTMs covered Gibraltar. From 1 January 2021 this is no longer the case. However, the newly created UK comparable registrations do have effect in Gibraltar.

National UK registrations do not automatically cover Gibraltar and if it is an important territory registration should be considered there, which must be based on a UK registration. A Gibraltar trade mark application can be made at any time during the life of the UK registration and will expire with the UK trade mark.

UK designs registrations are automatically extended to Gibraltar.

Jersey

Jersey has its own trade mark law that states EUTMs apply without re-registration. International Registrations designating the UK also automatically extend to Jersey.

No action is required in light of Brexit but relying on an EUTM when protection in Jersey is important may not be ideal because a refused or cancelled EUTM cannot be converted into a national application in Jersey. Protection, via re-registration of a UK registration, may therefore be desirable.

UK designs can be re-registered in Jersey.

Guernsey was not covered by an EUTM or RCD and therefore trade mark protection there is not impacted by Brexit.

Isle of Man

UK trade mark and design registrations automatically cover the Isle of Man. Therefore, any new UK rights automatically created post-Brexit cover the Isle of Man.

How we can help you

As a full service law firm, we are well placed to assist you with all your brand protection requirements and also to assist with any other question or issue arising from Brexit. Our Brexit hub contains a wealth of useful information.

If you have any questions or concerns regarding the status of your rights please contact us and we can provide guidance on any necessary action to ensure continued protection going forward.  

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