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How Will Intellectual Property Rights Change Following Brexit?

Dec 28, 2020

The end of the Brexit transition period is in less than 4 days now. As a result, the Intellectual Property Office (IPO) have issued guidance on changes to UK intellectual property law as the UK leaves the EU IP systems.

What impact will Brexit have on Intellectual Property systems?

During the Brexit transition period, EU law has continued to operate as normal in the UK. This has meant that the Intellectual Property system has continued to operate as it is.

However, with the Brexit transition period set to end in just a few days, there will be changes to how the Intellectual Property system and the Intellectual Property Office will operate, from the 1st January 2021

These changes will affect:

  • Trademarks
  • Designs
  • Unregistered Designs
  • Parallel Trade from the UK to EEA

Refer to the gov.uk website for a summary of the key changes to Intellectual Property systems and the IPO from the 1st January. You can also obtain a tailored list of actions that your business needs to take to prepare and ensure no disruption to your business operations.

What actions can businesses take ahead of Brexit?

Two key areas which the government are urging businesses to consider when it comes to Intellectual Property and Brexit are:

  • To consider whether changes to the framework for the exhaustion of IP rights will impact their business. Businesses may want to seek legal advice to inform their

Find out more about exhaustion of IP rights and parallel trade after the transition period

  • To consider if any potential changes to the eligibility for unregistered designs rights in the UK and the EU will impact their business.

Find out more about changes to unregistered designs from 1st January 2021

Given the complexities of the Intellectual property system it is recommended to seek legal advice on these issues and to consult with a legal team.

Will Brexit impact Intellectual Property Insurance?

The vast majority of businesses will have some form of Intellectual property – from the simpler forms such as company name or website through to more complex rights such as patents, trademarks or trade secrets.

And whilst intellectual property may not be tangible, it is valuable. Some businesses derive almost all of their total value from intellectual property.

It is thefore not hard to see the importance of protecting your intellectual property with insurance, in the same way as you would your physical assets such as your office building or contents.

And this will remain the same after Brexit. Protecting your Intellectual Property should continue to be high on your business agenda once we transition to our new relationship with the EU.  Pan European or Global insurance coverage will continue to be the norm. 

At Anthony Jones we are committed to helping our customers navigate the complexities that Brexit may bring to the way business operate. If you have any questions about how Brexit may impact your insurance or your insurance needs, then do not hesitate to get in touch with our expert teams.

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