It’s no surprise that many in the professional and legal services industries are putting increasing thought into what the post-Brexit world will, or should, look like. The Chartered Institute of Patent Attorneys (CIPA) in the UK has been the latest body to put its two cents (or pennies) into the mix. Brand owners from all over the world are watching what might unfold so they can ensure their valuable brands are protected appropriately.

CIPA has drafted a joint note with the Law Society, the IP Bar, the Chartered Institute of Trade Mark Attorneys and the IP Federation, which details their view on what the UK Government should be aiming for, with respect to intellectual property, pre- and post-Brexit. The note emphasises that the UK is a strong provider of IP services and that the UK industry and legal sector gains significant economic benefits from registering and using IP under the various EU laws and processes. The note focusses on the importance of ensuring “continuity and certainty of IP law”.

A full copy of the note can be found here  In summary, the note covers the following requests for action by the UK Government;

  • Continuation of EU-derived IP rights: The note advises that the UK Government should seek to negotiate a package of rights to secure the continuation of all existing substantive and procedural pan-European rights (such as EU trade marks, registered Community designs, unregistered Community design right and supplementary protection certificates) and defences to them. If this is not achievable, the note suggests that the Government should legislate for the automatic continuation in the UK of EU rights;
  • Unitary Patent / Unified Patent Court Agreement: The Unified Patent Court has been in the making for many years and could be ready to open this year. The note highlights that the UK Government should (i) confirm that the UK intents to stay in the UPC and that it intends to abide by the terms of the UPC agreement post Brexit; (ii) work towards opening the UPC as soon as possible; (iii) work with other UPC Member States to ensure there are no obstacles to the UK participation’s in the UPC following Brexit;
  • Exhaustion of rights: Currently members of the EU abide by the principles of the ‘exhaustion of rights’ with respect to IP rights. The note advises that the UK Government should consult widely, decide upon and publicise its position on the exhaustion of rights. In the meantime, the note also suggest that the Government should make it clear that the current regime will continue, and that the position would be reciprocated throughout the EEA;
  • Rights of representation: The note remarks that the Government should treat the continued rights of representation of UK IP professionals as a priority and should ensure that they continue in all relevant EU fora. It emphasises that relevant employees of UK companies should continue to have rights of representation before EU bodies including the CJEU, the EUIPO, as well as the UPC; and
  • Mutual recognition of judgments: The note stresses that the Government should urgently negotiate arrangements with the EU that continue in force the substance of the current arrangements under the Rome and Brussels regulations.

Let’s watch this space!