Brexit is nearly upon us. It is likely to affect many businesses operating in the UK which rely on the protection, exploitation and enforcement of rights in their key brands, technology, software, digital assets and other creative works.
Businesses operating in the UK will need to be aware of any changes affecting their key IP rights following the UK’s independence from the EU. For many businesses, it will simply be business as usual, with any changes to applications or registrations for IP rights happening in the background or with minimal input. Some businesses may need to adjust their strategy, or change their operations to meet new regulatory requirements.
The UK Intellectual Property Office has released a summary of how the IP system and the Intellectual Property Office will operate after the end of the transition period. As of 1 January 2021:
- international trade mark registrations with EU designation will continue to have protection in the UK.
- for every registered community design, the UKIPO will automatically create a re-registered design.
- any unregistered community design right protection that exists before the transition period, will continue in the UK for the remainder of its three-year term.
- supplementary unregistered design rights will become available in the UK, which will provide similar protection (albeit limited to the UK) to unregistered community design rights.
- a comparable UK trade mark registration will be automatically created by the UKIPO for every EU registered trade mark.
- patents should remain broadly unchanged as the European Patent Office does not sit within, nor is it an agency of the European Union.
- the UK’s continued participation in international treaties on copyright should mean that most UK copyright works will be protected in both the UK and the EU and vice versa.
A link to the UKIPO’s summary is available here.
In the coming weeks, we will release further details about these changes, together with how other UK intellectual property rights and regulatory regimes may be affected as a result of Brexit.