Unitary Patent and Trade Marks - consequences of Brexit


The European Commission has been active in the implementation of a patent package. When it comes into operation, it will establish a European patent with unitary effect (the ‘Unitary Patent’) and a new patent court. The unitary patent is a legal title that was intended to provide uniform protection across 26 EU countries on a one-stop-shop basis, providing cost savings and reduced administrative burden. The package will also set up a Unified Patent Court that will offer a single, specialised patent jurisdiction. Read more here.

However the Brexit result is likely to lead to delay of the Unitary Patent as the UK excludes itself. Read more here

A further eventual consequence of Brexit is that Community Trade Marks (known as European Union Trade Marks since the 23rd March 2016 as a result of the Trade Mark Reform) will no longer cover the UK. If you have a CTM (EUTM) to ensure you maintain protection in the UK in due course you will need to apply to the UK Intellectual Property Office to register a UK Trade Mark. One expects similar consequences for any registered Community Designs (RCD).

Leaving the EU should have no effect on membership of the Madrid Protocol system.and note also that the European Patent System is entirely independent of the EU and will not be affected by any changes to EU membership.

Be sure to keep yourself informed of changes over the coming months. For impartial advice on IPR contact John Christopher, Senior Innovation Adviser on 07799 060400 or e-mail enterprise.europe@eeneast.org.uk.

For further information on Intellectual Property visit the UK Intellectual Property Office website, the European Union Intellectual Property Office or the EU IPR Helpdesk.

[Exemplas Holdings Ltd]