Last week the UK government published a No-deal Readiness Report, setting out the changes that could take place in the event of a no-deal Brexit and what steps it is taking to be prepared for Brexit on 31 October 2019. In this blog we recap briefly at what the government is doing in relation to intellectual property, as outlined in the report.
The IP sector is considered in section F of chapter 6 of the report (pages 92-94). Here the government sets out the steps it has already taken to ensure that IP rights owners will continue to be protected in a non-deal Brexit (as we have looked at in blogs during the course of this year.) The government emphasises that it has intensified preparations in all areas since 24 July 2019. It refers (among other things) to:
- The equivalent UK rights that will automatically be created for registered EU trade marks and registered Community designs (and international registrations for the same).
- The new UK continuing unregistered design and supplementary unregistered design which will be created.
- Changes to enable the Supplementary Protection Certification system for patents to continue.
- Provisions introduced to protect parallel imports of IP-protected goods into the UK from the EEA. (Following this report, on 14 October 2019, the government published further specific guidance for parallel imports).
To implement the necessary changes to UK legislation to enable the above and other changes to how IP is to be protected after Brexit, six Statutory Instruments were laid before Parliament from July 2018 to January 2019 - these will come into effect on "Brexit Day".
In this latest report, the government also refers to the business readiness guidance it has published for all IP rights: Intellectual Property and Brexit. This very helpful guidance sets out the steps that rights owners and users should take and is regularly updated, linking to separate detailed guidance notes for individual rights (as we have blogged on before).
The above is only a brief update on the UK government's latest Brexit preparations in the IP sector – in respect of each IP right there are detailed provisions that need further drilling down and some remaining questions that need clarifying.
For further advice on the implications for your business, please get in touch with your usual Fieldfisher contact.