20 March 2018

Brexit: Agreed Draft Guidelines for Intellectual Property

On Monday 19 March 2018, the UK government released an updated Draft Agreement on the withdrawal of the UK and Northern Ireland from the EU and the European Atomic Energy Community. The Draft Agreement was colour coded to represent the level at which the content had been agreed.

As at March 19th, guidelines relating to intellectual property were coloured green meaning they are agreed at the negotiators level but are still subject to technical legal revisions.

Impacts for Trade Marks and Design

If implemented, the proposed guidelines will allow for existing EU registered rights effectively to be transformed into two rights; a continuing EU right and a newly formed UK right. The latter will not be subject to any re-examination in terms of validity and will mirror the subsisting EU right in all aspects (save, of course, for territorial coverage).

Rights owners will be pleased to hear that under the proposed guidelines they are not required to take action in order to effect this change and that it will automatically happen without charge.

For those that may have accrued unregistered design rights in the EU before the end of the transition period, those rights will still be enforceable as such, albeit they will be administered as a UK right subject to the relevant provisions of EU Law.

For applications filed at the EU IPO before the end of the transition period, owners will be given a right to file a corresponding UK application within a prescribed period.

For the full draft text, click here and keep an eye out for further updates on our News and Insights page.

To discuss further, reach out to your attorney.