Brexit and IP: business as usual for now

Article  \  27 Jun 2016

AJ Park wishes to assure you we are monitoring IP issues related to the anticipated exit of the United Kingdom from the European Union (EU). For now, there are no changes to IP rights which you may hold or secure in Europe. Any IP right secured for the EU will, for the time being, continue to cover the UK.

Currently there is no certainty about what changes may be made to the IP system as a result of Brexit. However, we will continue to keep you informed if there are any changes to the coverage of an EU IP right.

Below is a summary of the current positions and possible future developments:

  • European patents are not governed by the EU. The exit of the UK will have no impact on the European Patent Office (EPO) or existing European patents and applications as EPO is governed by the European Patent Convention (EPC), and is outside of the EU.

  • European Community designs, trade marks and unregistered design rights (UDRs) are governed by the EU. Therefore, it is expected the formal exit of the UK will have an impact. For now, it is not known what the impact may be. In future, we could expect a European registration for designs and trade marks to no longer cover the UK. It’s possible the owners of EU designs and trade marks will be able to convert these to UK designs or trade marks through some kind of conversion process. However, separate registrations in the UK may ultimately be required.

  • Subsistence and enforcement of copyright rights is unlikely to be impacted as this has always been, and is likely to continue to be, determined by local laws on a country by country basis. There are currently copyright reforms on the horizon as part of the EU’s digital single market strategy, and these could have an impact on any trade arrangements the UK enters into with the EU. However, any changes to copyright law will still need to be implemented at a local level in each EU state and the UK.

We will continue to monitor developments and notify you of any significant changes.

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