HomeInsightsGovernment publishes technical note setting out UK’s proposed approach to “Other Separation Issues”, including intellectual property rights


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The Government explains that in December 2017 it confirmed the joint UK and EU desire to establish a “deep and close future partnership.” Both parties also agreed, as part of the Joint Report published in December, that there were a number of areas relating to the UK’s separation from the EU where further discussion would be required to reach agreement. These issues were defined as “Other Separation Issues”, distinct from citizens’ rights, Northern Ireland and the financial settlement. The technical note sets out the UK’s proposed approach to these “Other Separation Issues”, which include intellectual property rights.

The Government notes that the EU position, as set out in its paper Intellectual property rights (including geographical indications), published in September 2017, is that the protection of certain EU and EU-derived intellectual property rights (including geographical indications) should continue in the UK and the EU after exit.

The Government says that it has ambition for a substantial future relationship on intellectual property. It remains of the view that in the majority of cases, the end-state arrangements will provide for a smooth transition to a comprehensive future economic partnership for business and citizens and the effect of these wind down provisions will be minimal.

The Government says that in many areas, the UK’s position is closely aligned to that set out by the EU in its September position paper. Where the UK and EU agree that intellectual property rights are within the scope of separation discussions, the UK’s overall objective is to provide maximum clarity and legal certainty for users, applicants and right holders by agreeing arrangements appropriate to each of the different types of right.

In the future, where the UK does not have existing domestic legislation to protect certain types of rights, it will establish new schemes, the technical note states. This approach will help form the basis for a strong ongoing cultural and economic relationship with the EU. To access the technical note in full, click here.