What effects will Brexit have on the Finnish Trade Register, trademarks, design protection and patents?

Below is a summary of what effects the United Kingdom’s withdrawal from the European Union (Brexit) will have on

Effects of Brexit on the Finnish Trade Register

The UK’s withdrawal from the EU entered into force on 1 February 2020. The withdrawal agreement brought about a transition period until the end of 2020, during which all current regulations continue to apply as if the UK were still a member of the EU. However, after the transition period, Brexit will probably have an effect both on the processing of notifications filed by traders and organisations with the Finnish Trade Register and on exemptions granted due to place of residence.

Negotiations on the UK’s future relationship with the EU will continue until the end of 2020. The contents of the future agreement will determine the UK’s position in relation to the EU. Further information on the future relationship and its effects on the Finnish Trade Register will be provided later as the negotiations proceed.

Processing of notifications submitted to the Finnish Trade Register

After the transition period, the UK will possibly no longer belong to the European Economic Area (EEA). In limited liability companies, at least one board member and the managing director must be resident within the EEA. However, the Finnish Patent and Registration Office (PRH) can grant an exemption from this requirement.

The board members and the managing director are responsible for their activities to the company, the shareholders or someone else. To ensure this responsibility, it is required that the enforcement of judgements under the Finnish law apply to at least one of the board members and the managing director.

Exemptions due to place of residence

In practice, we now grant exemptions due to place of residence only to persons living permanently in countries that have acceded to the Lugano Convention. The Convention is a general agreement on jurisdiction and the enforcement of judgements in civil matters.

The UK has not acceded to the Lugano Convention and has been bound by it only because of EU membership.

Unless otherwise provided for in the future agreement, a consequence of Brexit after the transition period is that not all the board members of a limited liability company can have their permanent place of residence in the UK. If the managing director of the company lives permanently in the UK, he or she will be granted an exemption only if at least one of the board members lives permanently within the EEA.

A trader living in the UK will need a permit to set up a branch in Finland. Under the Finnish Act on the Right to Carry on a Trade, the trader must have a representative who is entitled to receive summons and other notifications on behalf of the trader. The representative must be resident in Finland, and the Trade Register must be notified of the representative.

Effects of Brexit on the validity of EU trademarks, Community designs and patents in the United Kingdom

When the transition period for Brexit ends on 31 December 2020, all registered EU trademarks will automatically be converted into national trademarks in the United Kingdom. In contrast, EU trademark applications pending at the end of the transition period must be converted into national applications within nine months.

More information about the effects of Brexit is available on the websites of the European Union Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO), the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO), and the UK Intellectual Property Office.

Read more about the effects of Brexit on trademarks and designs on the EUIPO website.

Read more about the effects of Brexit on trademarks and designs on the WIPO website.

Read more about the effects of Brexit on trademarks, designs and patents on the UK Intellectual Property Office website.

Read more about the effects of Brexit on supplementary protection certificates for patents on the UK Intellectual Property Office website.

Effects in Finland and on the Finnish Patent and Registration Office (PRH)

If the applicant or owner of a trademark has neither a domicile nor a registered office in the European Economic Area (EEA), they must appoint a representative residing in the EEA. If the applicant of a design right or patent has neither a domicile nor a registered office in Finland, they must appoint a representative residing in the EEA.

After the transition period, the UK will possibly no longer belong to the EEA. Representatives residing in the UK can no longer be representatives in Finland. There are currently nearly twenty UK-based representatives in the Finnish Trademark Register.

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Latest update 14.02.2020