UK GOVERNMENT INTENDS TO CLARIFY A “NO DEAL” SCENARIO FOR IP RIGHTS
Department of Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy published a guidance for trademarks and designs if there is no BREXIT deal to allow businesses and citizens to understand what they would need to do, so they can make informed plans and preparations.
Applications for an EU trademark or Community design will have a period of nine months from the date of exit to apply in the UK for the same protections, retaining the date of the EU application for priority purposes. Right holders taking this step will need to meet the cost of refiling the application in accordance with the UK application fee structure.
Applicants with pending applications for a EU trademark or a registered Community design will be not be notified and after exit will need to consider whether they refile with the Intellectual Property Office to obtain protection in the UK.
Registered EU trade mark or registered Community design will have a new UK equivalent right granted that will come into force at the point of the UK’s exit from the EU , subject to a minimum administrative burden, and will then be treated under UK law. This means that these trademarks and designs:
– will be subject to renewal in the UK
– can form the basis for proceedings before the UK Courts and the Intellectual Property Office’s Tribunal
– can be assigned and licensed independently from the EU right
International registrations of trademarks and designs designating the United Kingdom will have protection in the UK long after the March 2019. The UK government along with the WIPO will work to provide continued protection in the UK after March 2019.
Copyright will remain largerly unchanged. The UK and other EU member states are party to the main international treaties on copyright and related rights. Under the rules of these treaties, countries provide copyright protection for works originating in or made by nationals of other countries. These rules underpin the copyright legislation in all member states of the EU and do not depend on the UK’s membership of the EU.
Patents and supplementary protection certificates will not be affected. The relevant EU legislation (or its domestic implementation) will be retained in UK law under the EU Withdrawal Act 2018. The existing systems will therefore remain in place, operating independently from the EU regime, with all the current conditions and requirements.
Pending applications for patents and for supplementary protection certificates will continue to be assessed on the same basis, and new applications can continue to be filed. If legal proceedings involving these rights or licences are underway, they will continue unaffected.
Unitary patent and Unified Patent Court is unclear whether will start before 29 March 2019. Thus there are two different scenarios for the Unified Patent Court:
– If the Unified Patent Court does not come into force, the domestic legislation to bring it into force will never take effect in the UK. In this scenario, there will be no changes for UK and EU businesses at the point that the UK exits the EU.
– If the Unified Patent Court comes into force, there will be actions that UK and EU businesses, organizations and individuals may need to consider. The UK will explore whether it would be possible to remain within the Unified Patent Court and unitary patent systems in a ‘no deal’ scenario
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