Owners of registered IP rights and pending IP applications in the EU‎ should carefully consider the complexities of the incoming regime.

By Deborah J. Kirk and Terese Saplys

On 28 September 2020, the UK government made the Intellectual Property (Amendment etc.) (EU Exit) Regulations 2020 (IP Regulations 2020), which amend the intellectual property (IP) regime in the UK to reflect Brexit-related changes once the transition period ends. The IP Regulations 2020 overlap somewhat complexly with existing UK and EU IP rights. In particular, exhaustion of rights principles seem to have fallen into a lacuna and as a result parallel importation from the UK into the EU may be significantly impacted. Owners of existing registered IP rights and pending IP applications under EU law should carefully consider the incoming legislation to inform their ongoing business operations.

The bloc, accounting for 30% of the world’s population and 30% of global GDP, is larger than the European Union.

By Oliver E. Browne and Isuru Devendra

As the United Kingdom continues to negotiate trade agreements with the European Union and other trading partners, 15 Asia-Pacific countries recently signed a new multilateral trade agreement named the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP). That agreement, the subject of negotiations since 2012, is expected to shape the Asia-Pacific economy in the decades ahead by establishing a single set of harmonised and predictable trading rules applicable across developed and developing economies in the region. The new framework presents economic opportunities for many countries, including those outside the Asia-Pacific region, and provides the United Kingdom and its private sector new opportunities in a post-Brexit economy.

European Commission proposes one-year postponement in light of the COVID-19 crisis.

By Frances Stocks Allen and Oliver Mobasser

On 25 March 2020, the European Commission announced that it was working on a proposal to postpone the date of application for the new EU Medical Devices Regulation (MDR)[i] for one year, in light of the COVID-19 crisis. The MDR had been due to become fully active on 26 May 2020.

The Commission’s Directorate-General for Health and Food Safety noted in a press release that the Commission was working to submit this proposal in early April, for swift adoption by the European Parliament and the European Council. The proposed postponement aims to relieve pressure on national authorities, notified bodies, manufacturers, and others, allowing them to focus fully on urgent COVID-19-related priorities.