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How will Brexit impact UK IP Rights? Introduction 

by Andrew Brennan

Published: January, 2021

Submission: January, 2021

 



Are you concerned about the impact of Brexit on your IP lifecycle? We’ve prepared the following guidance as the introduction to our new Brexit and IP five-part info series where we detail the impacts of Brexit on the various stages of the IP lifecycle.

1. Research and development


Funding:


  • UK has committed to research funding of £22 billion per year by 2024/25
  • UK researchers can participate in Horizon Europe, subject to agreement on UK's financial contribution

Talent:


  • New points-based immigration system applies
  • An Office for Talent is established to smooth the visa application process
  • A new Global Talent visa will allow leading overseas scientists and researchers to work in the UK

2. Protection


Technology:


  • The existing European patent system remains unaffected
  • The EU database right no longer applies. Databases remain protected through copyright
  • When in force, the EU unitary patent system may help UK businesses protect technology in EU countries

Brands:


  • A UK equivalent to an EU trade mark is automatically granted
  • An application is required for a UK equivalent to any pending EU trade mark application

Designs:


  • A UK equivalent to a registered community design is automatically granted
  • An application is required for UK equivalent to any pending registered community design application
  • A new supplementary unregistered design right will automatically protect the appearance of products

3. Regulation


Registration:


  • Pharmaceutical products and medical devices must be registered with the MHRA

Responsible person:


  • A UK responsible person must be appointed by EU/oversees manufacturers of medicines, medical devices and other regulated goods

Marking:


  • The new UKCA mark must be applied to certain goods marketed in Great Britain.
  • The UK(NI) mark is required for goods marketed in Northern Ireland
  • The CE mark is also required for regulated goods intended for the EU market

4. Commercialisation


Manufacturing:


  • The EU-UK trade deal ensures tariff free imports.
  • A new VAT import regime applies
  • Enhanced customs declarations and checks may slightly delay supplies of materials and components

Export:


  • The EU-UK deal ensures tariff free exports to the EU. Enhanced customs declarations and checks may slightly delay export process

Licensing:


  • Licensing arrangements with EU manufacturers or distributors may benefit a commercialisation strategy within the EU

5. Enforcement


Representation:


  • An EU representative must be appointed in trade mark and design proceedings before the EU IPO

CJEU decisions:


  • CJEU decisions made after 1 January 2021 are not binding on the UK

Unitary Patent Court:


  • When in force, UK businesses may face litigation within the new EU Unified Patent Court, if their actions within EU countries infringe existing rights

 



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