Most Read Contributor in South Africa, September 2016
Clients with European Union ("EU")
trade marks, registered designs and EP patents may be wondering
what will happen to their IP protection in the United Kingdom
("UK") now that the nation has voted to
leave the EU.
The good news is that EU IP rights extending to the UK will not
be affected in the short-term. The European Patent Office is not an
EU institution, so the leave vote will have no effect on EP
However, the long-term effect of Brexit on EU trade marks and
registered designs is not yet clear. The relevant IP legislation
will remain in force during the next two years, while the exit is
negotiated in terms of article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty (although
this period may be extended). When the UK does eventually leave the
EU, it is expected that procedures will be in place for converting
European trade marks and registered designs into UK registrations
and maintaining the original filing dates. How such conversions
will work, and what the cost will be, are not yet certain. The
effects of Brexit on the long-awaited European Unitary Patent
System, which is not yet in force, also remain unclear.
We will continue to monitor the situation and keep you informed
of any developments.
The content of this article is intended to provide a general
guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought
about your specific circumstances.
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