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UK Government states that UK owned trade marks and design rights will be unaffected by Brexit

Written by Samuel O'Toole on 26 July 2018

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The House of Commons ‘Exiting the European Union’ debate on 19 July 2018, provided some much anticipated guidance to, amongst others, UK trade mark and registered design proprietors.

EU trade marks and registered designs provide monopoly protection in all 28 Member States, they are what the name suggest –EU trade marks/ designs. However, when the UK leaves the EU, the EU trade mark/ design will continues to provide protection in all 27 Member States. It was it was assumed that by definition this would not include the UK. Until very recently, it was not clear what was going to happen.

However, on 19 July, the intellectual property world received some very good news. Lisa Cameron, SNP MP and also chair for the all party parliamentary group for textiles and fashion, asked:

“What steps his Department is taking during its negotiations on the UK leaving the EU to ensure that intellectual property rights in the creative sector are maintained.”

Robin Walker, parliamentary under-secretary of state for exiting the European Union, provided a very welcomed answer, namely:

“UK-owned trademarks and design rights in the EU27 will be unaffected by our withdrawal. Meanwhile, we have agreed to protect all existing EU trademarks, community-registered designs and unregistered designs in the UK as we leave the EU. In place of those EU-level rights, 1.5 million new UK trademarks and registered designs will be granted automatically and for free. The creative industries can therefore be confident that their existing intellectual property rights will not be diminished, and that the UK will remain one of the best places in the world to protect and enforce IP rights.”

The Government has previously stated that intellectual property rights will be unaffected by Brexit; there was anticipation that it would be an expensive job, on part of the rights holders, to keep the functioning rights in the UK.

The UK Government has been considering intellectual property and Brexit for quite some time and at least we now have clarity.

You can read the whole debate here: https://hansard.parliament.uk/commons/2018-07-19/debates/EB061744-4024-46B7-AB31-DE50C9291A76/IntellectualPropertyRights

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