In our last article on the topic of IP rights after Brexit we reported on the UK Government’s plans on how existing intellectual property (IP) rights will be treated in the event of a no deal exit from the European Union. At that stage the Government felt a no deal exit was unlikely, but events in the interim now make it seem a real possibility.
Generally a no deal exit would be bad news but since the last article, the Government has reaffirmed in a number of ways its intention that no rights will be lost and that it will, as necessary, empower the UKIPO to create so-called “clones” of all relevant European rights. This is action that the UK Government can take unilaterally: it does not require the agreement of other EU countries.
Thus, despite the uncertainty of how the UK will leave the EU, you can be reassured that there will be no loss of Trade Mark, Design and Plant Variety rights. Furthermore, there will be no need to take any imminent action in the event the UK does leave the EU on 29 March 2019 without a deal. There will be a transition period for any steps which are, in the end, necessary.
With regard to Patents, as previously advised, these are completely unaffected by Brexit.