20th November 2018
IP post-Brexit: What we know
The publication of the 19 March 2018 version of the ‘Draft Agreement on the withdrawal of the [UK] from the [EU]’ has led to more clarity about the status of various IP rights post-Brexit. Key points include:
It remains to be seen how the ‘comparable mark’ system will be administered but it is the EU’s position that all necessary steps should be taken by the UK with no charge being made to rights holders.
Presently UK law does not allow for arrangements in respect of indications of origin, geographical indications and traditional specialities. There is, as yet, no agreement on the position in this regard in the post-transition period.
In other welcome news, the impact of Brexit in relation to international protection of design rights has been reduced by the UK having joined the Hague Agreement for Industrial Designs. As part of the EU, the UK has indirect membership of, and benefits from, the Hague system. The UK has now independently joined the scheme, meaning even after Brexit, UK and EU businesses can use the Hague system to file a single application through WIPO (World Intellectual Property Organization). They can also obtain design protection in the EU and UK by selecting both territories in one application. Without this system, separate applications would have to be made.
First tasks for working groups include: