BREXIT uncertainty

The recent political events in the UK are generating an increasing concern for both IP practitioners and IP owners about the uncertainty having a negative impact on their IP rights.

Considering the recent news regarding the possible BREXIT with no agreement between the UK and the EU, many of the owners of existing EU rights want clarity over the coverage of those rights when the UK leaves the EU.

While there still many uncertainties, there are some settled basis that apply to any of the exit scenario that should reassure EU IP right owners.

As set out in the Withdrawal Agreement, UK will continue to protect all existing registered European Union Trade Marks, Registered Community Designs, and Unregistered Community Designs as UK leaves the EU.

In the event of a ‘no deal’ scenario, that is currently the main fear of IP right owners, UK the government has published a series of technical notices that help understand the situation.

In any scenario, including a no-deal between the UK and the EU, the UK intends to minimize disruption and to provide for a smooth transition.

For existing EU trade marks and RCD, this means that for all scenarios, the UK aims to ensure continuity of protection and avoid the loss of those rights.

Unregistered protection for designs will continue to exist through the UK unregistered design right.

Owners of such registrations need to take no action unless they do not want protection in both jurisdictions (there is an opt out).