Update on Brexit Implications on Trademarks

The withdrawal of the United Kingdom from the European Union, i.e. Brexit, is about 8 months from now, and the EU has begun issuing notifications of the implications on various sectors of the economy, including trademarks.[i]  The EU permits entities to obtain trademarks locally from specific countries, like Germany or France, or obtaining EU trademarks, which are valid in all EU member countries.  Absent an interim agreement between the UK and the EU covering trademarks, the EU has warned that all EU trademarks rights will cease in the UK on March 30, 2019.[ii]  This includes both trademarks filed with the European Union Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO) and international applications filed through the Madrid Agreement/Protocol that designate the EU. However, as on April 26, 2018 the UK has not begun implementing policies to cover EU trademark holders.[iii] For example, there are no identified policies covering entities wishing to file a UK trademark application and relying on EU trademark rights, such as priority or converting an EU trademark to a UK national trademark.  Read More

Elimination of the Lanham Disparagement Clause

The Supreme Court decided it is unconstitutional for the government to prevent registration of trademarks based on a subjective determination of offensive content, with all justices that issued an opinion.  In the case, Matal v. Tam, an Asian-American band named The Slants attempted to register the band’s name.  The application was rejected based on a portion of the federal trademark act banning marks that disparage, foster contempt, or disrepute any living or dead person, namely that the name The Slants degraded those of Asian descent. Read More