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IP transfer rights confirmed in Brexit draft agreement

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In a move that will be welcomed by many businesses both in mainland Europe and the UK, the recent Brexit draft withdrawal agreement contains a clause which means that EU trademarks and designs will continue to be valid once the UK formally leaves the EU (if it actually does, of course!).

The clause in the withdrawal agreement, Article 54, confirms that subject to trademarks and IP being assigned to a specific owner before the end of the transition period, then such trademarks and designs will apply both in the EU and the UK.
IP experts had expressed concerns prior to the confirmation of Article 54, led by the Intellectual Property Office who were acutely aware of the amount of legal and administrative work that would be involved in transferring thousands of rights. The clause will now mean that rights holders can be reassured that such effort will not have to be expended.

Carolyn Pepper, chairperson of the UK Law Society’s IP Committee said:

The draft agreement (if agreed) suggests largely business as usual regarding EU and community intellectual property rights registered up to the end of the transition period. What we don’t know yet is what will happen to rights filed after that so we will have to wait and see…the Law Society’s position is that the UK should remain within the European trade marks and designs system post transition given the likely costs to businesses of the alternative and so we hope that it still on the table.”

Article 54 also mirrors the preferred approach already confirmed by the EU Commission, who had already proposed that the UK should legislate to recognise products currently protected by geographical indications (‘GI’s’) in the EU. In the EU, a variety of food and drink products such as Champagne, Parmesan and Parma ham all currently have GI status, comparable to Scotch whisky in the UK.

 If you are thinking about suing another company but are worried about the costs of resolving the dispute or going to court, Advantage Litigation Services can help. We have vast experience navigating the different ways of funding commercial dispute resolution and are best placed to help you identify the most appropriate funding option and litigation protection that will best benefit you and your business. Click here to contact us or call 0800 160 1298 to discuss how we can help you manage the risks and find a funding option that works for you.

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