16 April 2019Trademarks

EUIPO resumes UK trademark oppositions after Brexit extension

The  European Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO) has reinstated opposition and invalidity proceedings that are based solely on UK rights.

The decision, which was made on  April 12, comes after the  European Union (EU) and the UK agreed to extend Article 50 until October 31.

The proceedings had been suspended since February 22, when the executive director of the EUIPO said the office would not issue any decisions or accept new proceedings before the UK's withdrawl from the EU.

Kate O’Rourke, a partner at  Mewburn Ellis in London and the Chartered Institute of Trade Mark Attorney’s Brexit negotiator, told WIPR that parties on both sides of disputes had “been in limbo” while the proceedings were suspended, and could now proceed with their cases.

But she warned that if no agreement is reached by October 31, any pending actions based solely on UK rights will then be dismissed.

Additionally, she stressed the EUIPO could re-implement the suspension if there is no progress with negotiations closer to the October date.

“This is good news because we now know cases will resume, but we never know when the EUIPO may do it again, which causes uncertainty,” O’Rourke added.

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16 January 2019   The future of IP rights remains unclear post-Brexit after UK politicians last night rejected the Withdrawal Agreement, according to lawyers.