BREXIT | 2306®

European Commission Paper on Brexit and Intellectual Property   - A good start, but the devil is in the detail
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European Commission Paper on Brexit and Intellectual Property - A good start, but the devil is in the detail

The European Commission has just released a position paper on Brexit and intellectual property, which we have commented on at length for Intellectual Property Magazine (here).  Here's our summary of the main features and what we think. 

What should I be doing now?  Part 2 – Future-Proof those Agreements
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What should I be doing now? Part 2 – Future-Proof those Agreements

Co-existence agreements are a popular way of settling EU trade mark disputes, and many EU trade mark owners are signatories to at least one such agreement.  However, can such co-existence agreements and other legal contracts, like consents and licences (and including those for designs as well as trade marks), be relied upon in the future? To create legal certainty, we think every EU agreement needs to be rewritten, or at least be amended by the execution of an addendum and here's why...

What should I be doing now?  Part 1 – To file or not to file?
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What should I be doing now? Part 1 – To file or not to file?

The up-turn since the Brexit vote (23.06.16) in the number of UK trade mark and design filings is continuing apace, but does it really make sense? 

A Brexit bonanza for tourists and brand owners?
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A Brexit bonanza for tourists and brand owners?

The Spanish word “bonanza” means calm sea and fair weather.  Idyllic holiday conditions, in fact.  The weakness of the British pound (the pound is now between 8 and 17% weaker against other currencies than it was before the Brexit vote) is supposed to be good for people coming to the UK on holiday.  But brand owners may benefit too.  It means UK firms have become better value for money than they were before...

"It's the uncertainty I can't stand!"
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"It's the uncertainty I can't stand!"

As the UK is still in the EU, EU trade mark and design applications filed now and for the foreseeable future will continue to cover both the UK and the EU.   Between now and Brexit, the authorities will put in place mechanisms for dividing out EU trade marks and designs into separate ones covering the UK and the “EU-of-27” (as the remaining member states are endearingly known). 

"It's the Union, Jack!"
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"It's the Union, Jack!"

The reason patents will not be affected very much by Brexit is that the European Patent Office is not an EU institution.  It refers to geographical Europe.  In contrast, the European Union Intellectual Property Office (which handles trade marks and designs) is official an agency of the European Union.  It refers to political Europe.

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