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At the end of 2020, because of Brexit, the United Kingdom formally separated from the European Union trademark system. This separation affected European Union Trademark registrations (EUTMs) that existed at that time, as well as existing International Registrations (IRs) extended to the European Union.  It also affected pending EUTM applications and IR extensions of protection to the EU.

EUTMs and IRs designating the EU that were registered on or before December 31, 2020 continued to have effect in the United Kingdom by virtue of a mechanism called “cloned” rights or “comparable rights.”  New United Kingdom registrations were simply created by “cloning” the information from existing EUTMs and IRs. This mechanism was automatic.

However, if EUTM and IR applications designating the EU were pending on December 31, 2020, then such applications were not automatically eligible for cloned United Kingdom rights. Instead, an application for the United Kingdom rights is required. The deadline for filing applications for United Kingdom cloned rights is September 30, 2021.

United Kingdom cloned rights will require local intellectual property attorneys – both for representation corresponding to the newly created United Kingdom rights, and for cloned right applications.

Given that the September 30 deadline is fast approaching, such attorneys should be contacted soon to prevent against any loss of rights in the United Kingdom.

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