The first thing to understand is that only certain Intellectual Property (IP) rights will be affected by Brexit. EU (European) trademarks and Community (EU) designs (both registered and unregistered) are likely to be affected significantly, but European patents (often mistakenly referred to as ‘EU patents’) will be largely unaffected.
The UK Government and EU are working on a number of scenarios for IP rights depending on whether we have a ‘deal’ or ‘no deal’ Brexit. Fortunately, both the ‘deal’, as outlined in the draft withdrawal agreement approved by cabinet on the 15th November, and ‘no deal’ scenarios provide similar outline solutions:
The draft agreement (‘deal’) on the withdrawal of the UK from the EU indicates that both the UK and the EU favour providing EU (European) Trademark and Community design holders (registered and unregistered) with an equivalent UK right once the UK leaves.
The UK government’s advice says that they will take action to make sure this also happens in the event of a ‘no deal’.
That said, what the full impact of Brexit on IP will be, is still unclear. We have endeavoured to outline what is currently known about IP in the run up to and post Brexit and what actions you may need to take to ensure your IP remains protected.
To help you navigate the world of Brexit IP we’ve pulled together some recommendations for UK and European trademarks, UK and Community designs (registered & unregistered) and European patents.
Although there is a strong possibility that EU right holders will retain UK protection after Brexit, we recommend that for business-critical trademarks and designs both EU and UK rights are applied for. As such, we are offering a discount of 20% off our professional fees for filing identical EU and UK trademark or design applications.