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Brexit – its effect is felt in IP filing statistics


4th Oct 2016

Two months on, is the shock of Brexit being felt in the IP community? Last month we looked at the recent IP filing statistics published by the UK Intellectual Property Office (UKIPO), predating the Brexit decision, and put our precog powers to the test by speculating on the changes Brexit would make.

A recent article by Managing IP has allowed us a peek at the UKIPO filing statistics for the last few months in comparison with the same months in 2015. The figures for August 2016 show increases in numbers of new trademark applications and new UK registered design applications, both year-on-year and compared to the previous months.

August 2016 saw 33% more UK trademark applications being filed compared to August 2015. We previously predicted a rise due to applicants filing UK national applications as insurance in case the EU Trademark (previously ‘Community Trademark’) ceases to cover the UK if / when UK leaves the EU.

Even more strikingly, August 2016 saw 95% more applications for UK registered designs than August 2015. We do not think this can be attributed to the UKIPO’s proposed reduction in filing fees (to just two pounds sterling per design in some cases) because this reduction does not take effect until October 2016. It seems that this too might be due to applicants filing UK ‘insurance’ applications.

What do these statistics mean? It is hard to imagine that the UK’s eventual departure from the EU, if it happens, will not be accompanied by some mechanism to transfer coverage of EU IP rights to the UK. It may be complicated. It may be expensive. Perhaps these applicants filing insurance applications are just hedging their risk. Whatever happens, it will be interesting to see if these filing increases continue throughout 2016.

This article is for general information only. Its content is not a statement of the law on any subject and does not constitute advice. Please contact Reddie & Grose LLP for advice before taking any action in reliance on it.

Author
Christopher Smith
Senior Associate
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Would you like to know more? You can talk to Christopher Smith who will be able to help. Call +44 (0)20 7242 0901

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