Brexit and Its Effects on Intellectual Property Rights
On June 23rd the United Kingdom (UK)1 decided, by means of a referendum, to exit from the European Union. This decision is known as “Brexit”. According to Art. 50 of the Treaty on European Union, the UK must notify the European Council – which for this purpose represents the EU – of its intention to exit, after which the parties will negotiate an agreement setting out the arrangements of that withdrawal and of the future relationship between the UK and the EU.
In practice, the UK will stop being a member of the EU once this agreement enters into force or, in case the parties are not able to reach such agreement, two years as of the date on which the notification is made2 , unless the parties unanimously agree to extend the term for negotiations. During those two years as of the date of notification, the UK will remain a member of the EU and, consequently, the EU regulations, including those regarding intellectual property rights, will remain in force in the UK. In other words, Brexit will not have an immediate effect on intellectual property rights granted/recognized by the EU.
These are the principal effects that Brexit will have on intellectual property rights, once it occurs:
1 The UK comprises four countries: England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.2 The UK has not made this notification yet, so the 2 years’ term for its exit remains undetermined.
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