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The EU Commission has today, 28 February 2018, published the text of the draft Withdrawal Agreement setting out their vision for the withdrawal of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland from the European Union.
There are no surprises relating to IP in the draft text which will now be discussed with the European Council and the Brexit Steering Group of the European Parliament before presentation to the UK Government for negotiation. The draft text is encouraging as it confirms that the EU is willing to agree to a seamless protection for trade mark and design right-holders. In particular, the text envisages the creation of a corresponding UK trade mark and design registration replicating any existing EU trade mark and design registration without the need for re-examination by the UK Intellectual Property Office.
The text of the Agreement is draft and is subject to change. We will continue to monitor this item and will report any updates.
The published text can be found here.
Note: There is no mention of the position with respect to European patents because patents are unaffected by the withdrawal of the UK from the European Union.