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EU Commission Publishes Draft Agreement with provisions for IP Rights to continue in the UK after Brexit

The EU Commission Draft Withdrawal Agreement provides that holders of registered EU trademark rights, Community Design rights or Community plant variety rights shall become holders of corresponding rights in the UK after Brexit (draft Art. 50).  Such registration of corresponding UK rights will be free of charge and will require no administrative procedure, including no requirement for a UK address-for-service, at least up to first renewal of the right (draft Art 51).

Designations of the EU in a Madrid system or Hague system application before the end of the transition period shall enjoy protection in the UK for their marks or designs (draft Art 52).

Unregistered Community design rights will become enforceable UK rights (draft Art 53).  Database rights will likewise become enforceable UK rights (draft Art 54).

It is proposed (draft Art 55) that pending applications for EU trade mark rights shall be dealt with by giving rise to an ad hoc right of priority in the UK for the same mark in respect of the same or similar goods or services, for a 6-month period from the end of the transition period.  Applications for Community plant variety rights are dealt with in a similar way.

Where an application for an SPC is made in the UK before the end of the transition period but the procedure for grant of the certificate is ongoing at the end of that period, the applicable EU SPC regulations shall apply, and any subsequent granted certificate shall have the level of protection provided for by those regulations (draft Art 56).

Rights that were exhausted in the EU and the UK before the end of the transition period will remain exhausted (draft Art 57).

These provisions reflect the Commission’s current negotiating position on mutual handling of IP rights.

Thursday, March 1, 2018