05 Fév What does Brexit mean for IP holders?

The 31st of January 2020 just passed signalling the exit of the United Kingdom from the European Union. The current laws surrounding Intellectual Property in the UK will exist as they are up until December 31st 2020 – No changes are to be made of the existing European IP system despite the UK removing itself, and no action needs be taken by the holder in this regard.

Full equivalent rights will be generated off the back of existing EU IP rights in order to protect holders at no cost to them. Read more from the UK Government site here. It has been established that although there is ‘technically’ no need for IP holders to refile for equivalent registrations in the UK because of the automatic nature of the process – some grey areas do exist, and further research on protection is recommended when it comes to those cases where extra care is needed, such as: pending opposition actions with EUIPO, new filings, agreements or licenses with a defined territory of ‘EU’, and cases with custom notices attached.

All equivalent UK rights generated are to be prefixed by ‘UK009’ highlighting a link to a parent EU registration.

According to www.gov.uk; ‘The IPO will convert almost 1.4 million EU Trade Marks, and 700,000 EU designs to comparable UK rights at the end of the transition period.’

The EPO is not an EU institution and the UKIPO was quick to assert « The UK will continue to be one of the 38 contracting state to the European Patent Convention, which is the international treaty that established the EPO. Applicants will continue to be able to file their applications with the EPO and, on grant, request validation in the UK and other countries of interest. »

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