In case you have forgotten, 2306® is a reference to the 23rd June, the date the UK voted to leave the EU. Not 23rd June 2019. Not 23rd June 2018. Not even 23rd June 2017. But 23rd June 2016!
It has been a while since our last Brexit Bulletin. In truth, we have spent most of 2019 in shock at the chaos of the UK Parliament…. But, as the year draws to a close, we finally have some news. Yesterday was polling day in the UK’s general election and the ruling Conservative Party won and, for the next five years, it can rely on support from a large the majority of elected members of parliament. It was the lack of majority support for any one political party that caused the stalemate hitherto.
This has three important consequences as far as intellectual property in the EU and the UK is concerned. Firstly, Brexit will happen. There is no longer any doubt. Secondly, a “no deal” Brexit is no longer a realistic possibility. For IP, this means that the UK will not suddenly be outside the EU trade mark and design systems on 31st January 2020 (the date the current extension of the UK’s membership of the EU expires). Thirdly, although the UK will now leave the EU on 31st January 2020 (barring something extraordinary happening), there will be a transition period until at least 31st December 2020 during which UK will remain part of the EU trade mark and design systems. In other words, it will be “business as usual” for the next twelve months.
However, we think it is important to use the next twelve months wisely. Over the course of the next year, we will be reinstating our “2306” Brexit Bulletin. What will happen with IP after Brexit has been known for some time (if you’d like a reminder summary, please let us know), but we have been brain-storming the practical and commercial implications of those changes and there are things to do or think about between now and the end of the transition period.
As most of you know, we in Wynne-Jones are lucky because we can handle both UK and EU work after Brexit through AIPEX, our European IP firm. You can come to us and we can look after everything for you in both territories. And, in the next year, we can give you an unrivalled insight into the IP consequences of Brexit, from both sides of the fence.
So, we look forward to working with you in the year ahead, and, in the meantime, we’d like to take this opportunity to thank all our friends around the world for your support and collaboration this year, and wish you a very happy and successful 2020.