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Late last month the UK Government updated its guidance on the future of IP rights following the decision that the UK will leave the European Union to explain arrangements in the event of a ‘no deal’ scenario.

A scenario in which the UK leaves the EU without agreement (a ‘no deal’ scenario) will have the most impact on registered trade marks and designs:

  • Property rights in all existing registered EU trade marks and registered Community designs will:

- continue to be protected and to be enforceable in the UK by providing an equivalent trade mark or design registered in the UK which will be granted with minimal administrative burden; and

- continue to be valid in the remaining EU member states.

  • Applicants for EU trade mark and Community design applications which are ongoing at the date of the UK’s exit from the EU will have a period of nine months from the date of exit to apply under the same terms for a UK equivalent right using the normal application process, retaining the EU application date for priority purposes.
  • The UK Government is working to provide for continued protection in the UK from the date of exit onwards of registered trade marks and registered designs filed through the Madrid and Hague systems which designate the EU. 

The scope of protection for copyright works in the UK and for UK works abroad will remain largely unchanged. However, the EU cross-border copyright mechanisms extend only to member states of the EU or EEA. On exit, the UK will be treated by the EU and EEA as a third country and the reciprocal element of these mechanisms will cease to apply to the UK.

The situation with respect to patents will also remain largely unchanged as the UK patent system and the European patent system are largely outside the remit of EU law.

The complete guidance can be found here: IP and BREXIT: The facts

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