The UK government’s technical notices provide some certainty for holders of cross-border copyrights, trade marks, patents and other IP rights.

By Deborah Kirk, Terese Saplys, and Grace Erskine

On 24 September 2018, the UK government published a series of technical notices explaining how a “no-deal” Brexit would impact intellectual property rights in the United Kingdom, including: copyrights, trade marks and designs, patents, and the exhaustion of intellectual property rights. It seems timely to revisit the content of these technical notices, given that on 15 January 2019 the UK Parliament will vote on (and, as has been widely reported by various media outlets, seems likely to reject) the proposed deal as agreed between Prime Minister Theresa May’s cabinet and the EU.

The UK Government has outlined how each of these intellectual property rights protections would or would not change following the UK’s exit from the European Union, which is currently anticipated to be 29 March 2019. This blog post summarises the areas identified in the technical notices of particular interest and concern to companies with cross-border operations.

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).