4 April 2024

EU trade marks no longer cover Jersey

The Government of Jersey recently announced that European Union Trade Marks (EUTMs) do not provide protection to Jersey. This declaration, stemming from an announcement made in March 2024, is part of an ongoing consultation on trade mark legislation in the territory.

Traditionally, as a Crown Dependency, Jersey was not covered by the EUTM. However, there was a period between October 2000 and April 2009, during which EUTMs were automatically protected in Jersey under the Community Trade Mark Regulation (EC No. 40/94). In a Note for Industry issued in March 2024, the Government clarified that EUTMs do not extend to Jersey and in fact have not done so since 2009, when the Community Trade Mark Regulation was amended.

For those previously relying on EUTMs for trade mark protection in Jersey, this clarification necessitates a strategic re-evaluation and calls for proactive measures.

Trade Mark holders have two primary avenues to secure protection within Jersey. Firstly, holders can opt for the re-registration of trade marks initially obtained in the United Kingdom. This includes comparable UK Trade Marks – created automatically from an EUTM post-Brexit. Applications can be initiated at any point during the lifespan of the UK trademark but will expire in tandem with the UK registration.

Alternatively, trade mark holders can rely on the existing legislation covering International Trade Marks designating the United Kingdom. These International Trade Marks automatically enjoy protection in Jersey under current regulations. It is important to note, that even when the United Kingdom was a member of the European Union, designations of the EU were never protected in Jersey.

Given these regulatory changes, it is crucial for trade mark holders to seek professional advice to understand the nuances and changes in trade mark law and practice in the regions where they have commercial interests and to adapt their trade mark strategies accordingly.

For further guidance, please contact our Trade Mark team.