Brexit – What Could Happen to My IP Rights?

Region: Europe
19 July 2016

The UK’s withdrawal from the EU will have profound implications for intellectual property rights covering the UK. Particularly affected will be unitary rights that currently cover the entire EU, including EU trade marks, registered and unregistered Community designs and the (yet to be implemented) Unitary Patent. The terms on which Brexit will occur are, at this stage, not foreseeable, which creates considerable uncertainty and makes contingency planning difficult. We do, however, expect that:

  • EU rights, like the EU trade mark or registered Community design, will cease to be valid in the UK.
  • EU rights will continue to exist in the remaining 27 EU member states with the option to be converted into UK national rights.
  • Pan-European injunctions will no longer be effective, or available, in the UK, meaning that IP infringements will have to be separately litigated in the UK and the EU.
  • The existing European patent system will be unaffected, but the new Unitary Patent, once (and perhaps if) it comes into force, is unlikely to apply to the UK.
For the time being, current EU law and EU-wide rights will continue to apply until the withdrawal from the EU comes into force. So, the good news is that owners of EU rights do not have to rush into immediate action, although it is advisable to consider a change in strategy.  

In this webinar, we will explain which IP rights are likely to be affected by Brexit and how, as well as suggesting practical changes that should be made now to IP filing and portfolio management strategies in order to ensure UK IP protection post-Brexit is maintained while minimising cost and inconvenience.

The webinar will commence at 4 p.m. BST (UK) and will last for 40 minutes followed by an opportunity to ask questions.

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