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Brexit and intellectual property

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The Referendum result has caused many businesses to be concerned about their European Community Registered Intellectual Property Rights.

The Referendum result has caused many businesses to be concerned about their European Community registered intellectual property rights.

Are they still valid?

The simple answer is yes; for now.  The exact date of the United Kingdom’s exit from the EU is not known.  Once the UK gives official notice of its intention to leave, there will be a two year period for negotiating the terms of the exit.

During that two year period, all existing Community Registrations will be valid; so Community Trade Marks, and Community Design Registrations will be enforceable in the UK.  Upon exit, there will need to be a process for the registration of those EU intellectual property rights in the UK.  We expect some transition period for the expiry of rights elsewhere in the EU, but we wait and see.


The European Patent Convention (EPC) is independent of the EU.  Even after the UK leaves the EU, it will continue to be a Member of the European Patent System and so continue to be a designated territory in a European Patent Application.  The European Patent will continue to be valid in the UK and infringements of European Patents may still be prosecuted in the UK.

The Unified Patent Court and Unitary Patent

The UPC is scheduled to come into existence next year, 2017.  The UPC is intended to be limited to Member States of the EU, so there will need to be decisions made regarding the UK’s interest in it.  Royds, as a Member of the Intellectual Property Lawyer’s Association is considering lobbying for the UK to continue to be permitted a presence in the UPC post exit from the EU.

Our Technology, Media  & Telecommunications team will keep its clients advised as information becomes available.

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