What is Brexit?
“Britain’s exit from the European Union”.
In a referendum held on 23 June 2016, 51.9% of UK voters were in favour of leaving the EU. At the date that takes effect, the EU will cover 27 countries, not 28. The EU, and therefore geographic coverage of pan-EU IP rights, has grown before, but has never shrunk. The consequences are still being worked out, but we have some guidelines.
When does it happen?
The date ‘Brexit’ is expected to take effect is 31 January 2020.
The current versions of the Draft Withdrawal Agreement (an agreement negotiated between the UK government and the EU) contain a transitional period that would run until 31 December 2020 and it is effectively ‘business as usual’ until then.
Do I need to worry?
The short answer is “Not really”.
Only pan-EU IP rights granted by the EUIPO are affected. There is no impact on European Patents granted by the EPO.
European Union Trade Marks and Community Designs will no longer have effect in the UK after the end of the transition window, but provisions are in place to ensure that the holders of EU-based rights will be provided with equivalent rights in the UK post-Brexit, or the opportunity to re-apply for such rights if they have not reached granted status at the relevant date. IP holders will not be put in a position where action has to be taken on 1 February 2020.
Reddie & Grose is monitoring events and updating you through newsletters, Twitter and LinkedIn. We are monitoring the cases of all of our clients and will provide tailored alerts as and when we find out that something definite happens.
There are some proactive steps you might like to think about. For further information, please see Brexit & IP: Not too much, not too little and Brexit & IP: Everything you have ever wanted to know about Brexit.
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.