2 December 2016

How will Brexit affect Intellectual Property Rights?

The UK’s Current Legislative Framework

Intellectual Property law in the UK is currently framed by a combination of EU law and UK law (in this article we do not distinguish between English or Scots law etc.) In the following sections we shall explore the main intellectual property rights, and provide some comments and thoughts on how they may alter with Brexit both as strict law and in practical terms for professionals.

Presently because the UK is an EU member state, questions of jurisdiction regarding the courts of the UK and of different EU member states are governed by EU Regulation 1215/2012 (on jurisdiction and the recognition and enforcement of judgments in civil and commercial matters). Proceedings concerned with the registration or validity of patents, trade marks, designs or other IP rights are reserved to the courts of the member state of deposit or registration, although the position differs for unitary EU-wide rights. In those later forms such as Community Trade Marks or Designs, English Courts may presently sit and hear matters which have jurisdictional effect across the EU. The future of the UK outside the EU will therefore affect those pan-EU rights the most.

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