November 25, 2020
The essential points from the summary are:
- UK Address for Service (AfS): the IPO is considering making changes to the rules on AfS at the end of the transition period so that only UK or Channel Island AfSs would be accepted for new applications and new requests to start contentious proceedings;
- Trade Marks: comparable UK trade mark and Design rights will be created at the end of the transition period under the terms of the WA; those with applications for EU trade marks not registered at the end of the transition period will have nine months to apply in the UK for the same protection;
- Designs: Re-registered UK designs will be created for eery Registered Community Design (RCD) at the end of the transition period under the terms of the WA; those with applications for RCDs either not registered or with deferred publication at the end of the transition period, will have nine months to apply in the UK for the same protection;
- International Trade Marks and Designs: international trade marks and designs designating the EU will continue to have protection in the UK under the terms of the WA; where an international trade mark or design designating the EU has been applied for, but is not yet protected, the holder will have nine months to apply for the same right as a UK trade mark or design;
- Unregistered Designs: unregistered community designs that arise before the end of the transition period will continue to be protected in the UK for the remainder of their three-year term through continuing unregistered designs; from 1 January 2021, a supplementary unregistered design (SUD) will become available in UK law; the SUD will provide similar protection to that conferred by the unregistered Community design, but for the UK only;
- Patents: as the EPO is not an EU agency, leaving the EU does not affect the current European patent system. Existing European patents covering the UK are also unaffected;
- Parallel trade between the UK and the EEA: the IP rights in goods placed on the UK market by, or with the consent of the right holder after the transition period may no longer be considered exhausted in the EEA; therefore, businesses parallel exporting IP-protected goods from the UK to the EEA might need the right holder’s consent; the IP rights in goods placed on the EEA market by, or with the consent of the right holder after the transition period will continue to be considered exhausted in the UK; therefore, parallel imports into the UK from the EEA will be unaffected. The IPO plans to publish a formal consultation in early 2021; and
- Copyright: most UK copyright works will still be protected in the EU and the UK due to the UK’s continued participation in the international treaties on copyright; EU copyright works will continue to be protected in the UK; current cross-border copyright arrangements unique to EU Member States will stop at end of the transition period, including cross-border portability of online content services, copyright clearance for satellite broadcasts, reciprocal protection for database rights and the orphan works exception.
The IPO has also published more detailed guidance on changes to IP law from 1 January 2021. To read the IPO’s summary in full and for links to all Brexit guidance from the IPO, click here.