BREXIT and Intellectual Property – My View
I’m a great believer in taking lemons and making them into lemonade. Now that the UK has voted to leave Europe, here are the headlines for our clients:
UK and European Patents and patent applications will proceed as expected. European patents and the new Unitary Patent Court which will make decisions about patent infringements in Europe are outside of the scope of the main EU treaties. In short there will be few if any changes.
Trade Marks and Registered Design Rights.
All UK applications and registrations for designs and trade marks will remain intact.
EU registered trade marks and design rights will remain enforceable and new provisions will be negotiated to keep existing rights enforceable across the EU. For the next two years the UK will have to negotiate how the applications for existing rights proceeds. However, it would be madness for the UK or the EU to start to unpick some of the harmonisation in relation to trade marks and design rights. Bearing in mind that most EU marks are registered within 9 months or so, and design rights within 2 months the vast majority of applications remain unaffected.
Now in my mind here’s the opportunity: World Trade. I’m old enough to remember getting our butter and lamb from New Zealand and our sugar and tea from the Commonwealth. The pound is now lower against both the US dollar and the Euro which makes our goods attractively priced. Let’s make our exports really competitive on the Global stage. We still make amazing products. Our creative industries are second to none. We have World class engineers, software developers, film makers and manufacturers to name but a few in the IP arena. Let’s go and find out who else wants to buy our goods and services. The USA is still our largest trade partner. We sell twice as much to the USA as we do to Germany. And bear in mind places like China, India and other emerging nations have booming economies. Oh and let’s not forget to register our trade marks, patents and design rights internationally before we do business there either!