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UKIPO Issues Further Guidance on Brexit

17 January 2019

The UK Intellectual Property Office (UKIPO) has issued further guidance on the effect of Brexit on IP. This follows the vote of the UK Parliament against accepting the Draft Agreement on the Withdrawal of the United Kingdom (UK) from the European Union (EU) and the Draft Political Declaration setting out the framework for a future relationship. Both documents had previously been agreed by the UK Government and the EU as we reported here

It is unclear at this stage what steps the UK will take in relation to Brexit. A wide range of options is under consideration. 

What is clear is that clients’ existing and pending IP rights covering the UK will be safeguarded even in the event of a “no deal” (or “hard”) Brexit. The further guidance issued by the UKIPO largely repeats previous guidance reported.

Whatever the outcome, there will be no effect on patents and patent applications because patents are national rights. The European Patent Office is not an EU body and the UK will remain a member of the European Patent Convention.

The UK Government has committed to duplicate EU IP rights in the UK in the event of a “no deal” Brexit. Whatever actions the UK Government takes and whatever the outcome, J A Kemp will continue to take any necessary steps to protect clients’ IP rights. This will include ensuring that clients are able to enjoy seamless protection for granted IP rights in the UK and throughout the EU. It will also include ensuring that any pending IP rights can be prosecuted to achieve protection in the UK and the rest of Europe. Whatever the outcome of the Brexit process, we will be able to continue to represent clients for all their IP needs throughout Europe.

If you have any questions or concerns, please contact your usual J A Kemp contact.

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