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Brexit and IP – updated overview

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This article is an updated version of a previous Brexit related article which takes into account the UK’s revised date for leaving the EU.

Following an extension agreed by EU leaders back in April, the UK is now expected to leave the European Union on 31 October 2019. The UK’s departure from the EU may have an effect on your Intellectual Property Rights. This article is designed to briefly set out those potential changes.

“Exit Day”

There is a key ‘switch-over’ date for IP, which is referred to here as “Exit Day”. The exact date of Exit Day will be different depending on the manner in which the UK leaves the EU.

In the event of a “No Deal” Brexit, where a Withdrawal Agreement has not been agreed by both sides, the UK will leave the EU without any transition period and Exit Day will be the end of the Article 50 period. Currently the end of the Article 50 period is 31 October 2019, though this date could potentially be extended again if there is still no agreement by that date.

If the Withdrawal Agreement is agreed by the EU and ratified by the UK, this provides for a transition period during which the UK will no longer be part of the EU, but will still be bound by EU rules. In this scenario ‘Exit Day’ is the end of this transition period (the end of December 2020 at least though potentially this date could also be extended).

References to “Exit Day” below should therefore be read as encompassing either the “No Deal” exit day or the exit date at the end of the transition period.

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Brexit and IP – an overview

brexit-1481028_1920The UK is shortly expected to leave the European Union, which may have an effect on your Intellectual Property Rights. This article is designed to briefly set out those potential changes. (more…)

Brexit delayed: EU offer “If This Then That, Else” extension

brexit-1481028_1920After grilling PM Theresa May for 90 minutes and then holding 8 hours of talks, the EU-27 offered to delay Brexit last night. The PM has accepted this offer which means that the No-Deal cliff edge has moved back from 29 March and Brexit has effectively been delayed slightly. This delay means that the potential impact of Brexit on EU Trade Marks (EUTMs) and Registered Community Designs (RCDs) will also be delayed. (more…)

Brexit and IP: UKIPO update on conversion of EU Trade Marks and Registered Community Designs

brexit-1481028_1920Following statements made recently in the House of Commons during an “Exiting the European Union” debate, the UK Intellectual Property Office has updated its “IP and BREXIT: The factspage with further details on its plans for handling European Union Trade Marks (EUTMs), Registered Community Designs (RCDs) and Unregistered Community Designs as the UK exits the EU.

By way of a brief recap readers will recall the March 2018 version of the draft Withdrawal Agreement covering the UK’s departure from the EU confirmed a number of IP related elements that had been agreed (see the sections in green between Articles 50-57) but that the registration procedure (for the conversion of EUTMs and RCDs) was still the subject of negotiations. (more…)

Brexit and Intellectual Property – state of play May 2018

brexit-1481028_1920The EU-UK draft withdrawal agreement was republished recently to show which sections have been agreed and which sections require further discussions. The agreement has been helpfully colour coded into green sections (agreed provisions, technical legal revisions only) and yellow sections (policy agreement, drafting changes required). Sections that are left white represent terms proposed by the EU where negotiations are still required.

The draft withdrawal agreement contains a provision for a transitional period (Article 121) which will run from the UK’s official exit from the EU (on 29 March 2019) until the end of 2020.

A summary of the provisions that relate to intellectual property (IP) is provided below. It is noted that the articles of the withdrawal agreement that relate to IP (Articles 50-57) contain a mixture of green and white sections. The “green” provisions that have, in principle, been agreed are: (more…)

The Road to Brexit: EU Commission Draft Withdrawal Agreement and the UK PM’s Mansion House Speech

brexit-1481028_1920Last Wednesday the European Commission published its draft Withdrawal Agreement relating to the withdrawal of the UK from the EU and the European Atomic Energy Community. This was followed a couple of days later by a speech from the Prime Minister which set out some more details about the UK position. Intellectual property got a mention in both the Withdrawal Agreement and the Mansion House speech. (more…)