As you are now aware, the United Kingdom has voted to leave the European Union.

Don’t panic!

The first point is that today it is business as usual and the owners of Intellectual Property should not panic.

European Union Trade Marks and Registered Community Designs remain valid in the UK and there will be no immediate loss of IP protection.

European Patents will be largely unaffected as the European Patent Office (EPO) is governed by the European Patent Convention (EPC) of which a number of non-European Union member states are members, including Switzerland, Norway and Turkey. There may however be some affect upon the, yet to be initiated, European Unitary Patent.

Ansons’ ability to represent our clients before the European Union Intellectual Property Office or European Patent Office is unaffected.

Going forward

The Institute of Trade Mark Attorneys (ITMA) have released a statement stating that they will be

“…working hard with key stakeholders including the UK’s Intellectual Property Office and Minister for Intellectual Property to influence the forthcoming negotiations on exit from the EU and make sure IP is not forgotten. We will be looking to ensure the best possible outcome for members, owners of intellectual property rights and for practitioners in the UK”

Other Intellectual Property bodies have released similar statements.

Transitional provisions will be put in place to protect the rights afforded by existing European Union Trade Mark Registrations and Registered Community Designs in the UK. Whether this means that registrants will be able to partially convert their registrations into national UK registrations or that registrations filed before a certain date will continue to cover the UK has not yet been determined.

ANSONS’ Attorneys will monitor this extremely important issue and will provide updates and advice as, and when, developments occur.