Brexit, the United Kingdom’s (UK) decision to leave the European Union (EU), has made headline news in recent months. Brexit is already impacting trademark rights in Europe, including in the sports and entertainment industry.
New UK Filings Required. Trademark rights are conferred on a jurisdiction-by-jurisdiction basis. Going forward, brand owners will not be able to rely on a single EU trademark filing to cover the same geographic territory in Europe. In light of Brexit, brand owners now need to file trademark applications in the UK as well as the EU to protect their trademarks in the same geographic territory. For years, separate trademark filings in Norway and Switzerland (and other European countries falling outside the EU) have been required. Brexit adds the UK to the list of countries requiring separate trademark applications in Europe.
On October 1, 2014, a new law came into effect that excepts parody, caricature and pastiche from the scope of copyright protection in the United Kingdom. Under the previous law, parodists bore the risk of being sued for breach of copyright if they used clips from television shows, films or songs without the copyright holder’s permission. The new law allows the use of such content as long as the use is “fair” (meaning it does not commercially compete with the original work) and is not discriminatory in nature.
The Sports, Arts & Entertainment group at Foster Garvey provides full service legal representation on sports, entertainment and business matters, including handling transactions related to brand management, licensing, joint ventures, venture capital, private equity, technology, the Internet and new media.