The United Kingdom is set to leave the European Union on 29 March 2019 (“Exit Date”). With Brexit fast approaching, on 25 November 2018 the EU and the UK announced their consensus on a withdrawal agreement that sets out the terms of the UK's exit. But the withdrawal agreement is subject to approval by the UK Parliament which is likely to be controversial.
The post-Brexit treatment of intellectual property (IP) is one of the issues addressed in the withdrawal agreement. For months leading up to the announcement of this agreement, the UK government has also been preparing contingency plans for what might happen if an agreement either couldn’t be reached or was agreed but then rejected by Parliament (the so-called “no-deal” scenario).
In this article, we summarise what IP owners can expect in relation to the various categories of IP when the UK leaves the EU on 29 March 2019. We also set out recommended actions that can be taken to address IP risk – especially in a potential no-deal scenario. At the bottom of this article, you will find a table that sets out the various implications of Brexit for intellectual property in both a deal and no-deal scenario.