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.

Favourable Supreme Court decision for ISPs finding they do not have to bear costs of complying with blocking orders.

By Oliver Middleton

Historically, internet service providers (ISPs) that have been ordered to block access to websites have had to bear their own costs of compliance on the basis that it was seen as being part of the cost of carrying out their business. That position has now changed due to the Supreme Court decision in Cartier International AG & ors v BT plc & anor [2018] UKSC 28 on 13 June 2018.

The previous rationale for ISPs bearing their costs was that, whilst they are not wrong-doers, they benefit financially from the content on the internet — including content that infringes intellectual property rights. Therefore, it is fair that they should bear costs of ensuring content infringing intellectual property rights is not accessible as part of the general costs of carrying on their business.

By Deborah Kirk

Flags of Great Britain and European Union

Following the Prime Minister’s triggering of Article 50 today, 29 March 2017, we have 2 years until the legislative reality of Brexit and its implications will truly impact IP owners. However, there are steps that brand owners should be taking now to position themselves for when Britain leaves the EU. 

Here are our 5 actions organisations can take now to address Brexit-related brand issues in advance – there will be plenty else to think about in 2019 and the IP registries are likely to become overwhelmed with demand closer to the exit date.

By Deborah Kirk

The UK will ratify the Unified Patent Court Agreement despite the Brexit vote, it was announced yesterday. It is unclear whether this marks the start of a long participation of the UK in this 40-years-in-the-making unifying change in patent law in Europe or whether Brexit will result in the UK exiting the new system almost as soon as it has signed up to it.

The unitary patent (UP), or “patent with unitary effect” is in the senior stages of adoption after four decades of preparation and negotiation. When introduced, UPs will protect an invention in all participating Member States of the EU in a uniform manner. UPs will be subject to the jurisdiction of a new Unitary Patent Court (UPC) whose judgments will be binding on participating states in so far as they apply to UPs under the Unitary Patent Court Agreement (UPCA).