Cherrie Stewart, Director and Trade Mark Attorney, based in our Belfast office, has once again contributed an article of interest to the latest copy of the CITMA Review.

The process of purchasing IP rights from the Crown has changed somewhat in the post -Brexit world, as EUTMs are no longer available for purchase from the Crown.

Cherrie writes:

“On several occasions pre-Brexit, an Irish trade mark application I filed would encounter an objection on the basis of relative grounds, even though it appeared that the EU trade mark (EUTM) registration in question was owned by a dissolved UK registered company and no change of ownership had been recorded.

If notifying the Intellectual Property Office of Ireland of the status of the registered owner did not overcome the objection, the quickest and most cost-effective route to overcoming the objection was to purchase the cited right from the Crown, if available.

When a company is dissolved, any property vested in or held on trust for the company is deemed to be bona vacantia, meaning “ownerless goods”, and devolves to the Crown.

Some such property can thereafter be purchased by third parties through the relevant Bona Vacantia Department (BVD) office.

Alas, the option of purchasing an EU trade mark registration is no longer open to us post-Brexit.”

To understand the changes, and to refresh your knowledge on the topic of buying into bone vacantia, you can find the full article at the following location:

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