Following the official start of the negotiations for British withdrawal from the EU, the UK Intellectual Property Office (UKIPO) has updated its guidance on the consequences of Brexit for intellectual property rights in the UK.
The UKIPO’s guidance confirms that, where IP rights in the UK derive from EU law – such as EU Trade Marks, Registered Community Designs, and Supplementary Protection Certificates – the Government is “exploring various options” to provide clarity over the continuity of those rights after Brexit. It also confirms that the Government is continuing with preparations to ratify the Unified Patent Court Agreement with the intention that the UPC will open for business in December 2017.
Until the exit negotiations conclude in March 2019 the UK remains a full member of the EU and therefore owners of IP rights should see no changes to the types of IP protection available in the UK in the immediate term. Both the UK Government and the European Council have also raised the prospect of “phased implementation” of the final Brexit agreement, potentially allowing the UK to remain a participant in some aspects of the EU during a transitional period. Potentially, depending on the final agreement and any transitional provisions, the UK could continue to participate in EU-wide IP regimes beyond 2019.
Dehns will continue to monitor developments relating to Brexit and we will publish relevant news here as the post-Brexit arrangements begin to take shape.