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12 Jan 2022

Intellectual Property: High Court confirms it retains jurisdiction on Pending EUTM claims

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Law firm Stephenson Harwood LLP has successfully defeated an application on behalf of Beauty Perfectionists Limited & Ors, to have a pending EU trade mark (EUTM) claim struck out on jurisdictional grounds post Brexit.

easyGroup, the owner of the easyJet and easyHotel brands amongst others, commenced proceedings against Beauty Perfectionists due to the cosmetic retailer's use of 'easyCosmetics' as a brand for selling products online. easyGroup commenced the proceedings before the UK High Court before IP completion day (31 December 2020) asserting that Beauty Perfectionists were infringing its EU trade marks (which have effect throughout the European Union). Beauty Perfectionists applied to strike out the claim on the basis that following Brexit the UK courts no longer had jurisdiction to hear EUTM claims.

In his decision handed down today [17 December 2021], the Chancellor of the High Court confirmed that the UK maintains jurisdiction in EUTM claims commenced before IP completion day (31 December 2020) and that it still has the power to grant EU wide injunctions and other relief. A copy of the decision is available here.

"This is a significant judgment, and one which offers much clarity to the intellectual property community, who has been grappling with this question since Brexit," said Rob Jacob, partner, Stephenson Harwood. "The decision will also have a wider impact outside the sector, because it confirms that the UK Withdrawal Agreement with the EU has been fully implemented in UK law and will trump any conflicting UK statute."

The Stephenson Harwood team was led by intellectual property partner Rob Jacob, who was supported by senior associate Jodie Lilir and associates Joshua Cunnington and Seth Crawley.

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