United States: A ‘No Deal Brexit' And Its Affects On IP

Last Updated: October 6 2018
Article by Daniel Gallagher

The UK government has published a series of four technical notices on intellectual property in the event of the UK leaving the EU on 29 March 2019 without an agreement (a 'no deal Brexit').  The technical notices were published on 24 September 2018 and cover: Trade marks and designs; Patents; Copyright; and Exhaustion of intellectual property rights. The notices set out the UK government's plans for the ongoing recognition of existing IP rights in the UK in the event of a no deal Brexit.  They also cover wider mechanisms and arrangements relating to IP, such as cross-border copyright and exhaustion.

Businesses operating in the UK and EU should consider whether and how the changes will affect them, if the UK leaves the EU without a deal (a scenario which the UK government considers unlikely given the mutual interests of the UK and the EU in securing a negotiated outcome).

This blog post summarises the key points from each of the four notices about the consequences for IP rights of a no deal Brexit.  Copies of the technical notices are available on the UK Intellectual Property Office's website.

Trade marks and designs

Rights holders with an existing registered EU trade mark or registered Community design will be granted a new UK-equivalent right that will come into force from the date that the UK exits the EU.  Anyone with an EU application underway when the UK exits the EU will have a 9-month period (starting on the date of exit) to apply for equivalent UK rights, retaining the date of the EU application for the purposes of priority.

Unregistered Community design rights that exist at the point that the UK leaves the EU shall continue to be protected and enforceable in the UK.  The UK government intends to create a new unregistered design right in UK law that mirrors unregistered Community design rights.

The notice states that the UK government is working with the World Intellectual Property Organization on the protection in the UK of trade marks and designs that have been registered through the Madrid and Hague systems designating the EU.

Prior to Brexit, the UK government will publish further information about the status of legal disputes in the UK courts at the date of Brexit that involve EU trade marks or registered Community designs.

Patents

There are only a few areas of UK patent law based on EU legislation.  Relevant EU law will be retained in the UK through the EU Withdrawal Act 2018.  For example, this means that the EU's rules on supplementary protection certificates will be kept in UK law, which will then form the UK's own supplementary protection certificate regime.

With respect to the Unified Patent Court and unitary patent system, the notice states that if the Unified Patent Court comes into force, the UK government will explore whether it will be possible for the UK to remain within the Unified Patent Court and unitary patent system in a 'no deal' scenario.

If no deal is reached before Brexit, businesses will no longer be able to use these methods to protect inventions in the UK and they will have to apply for separate UK rights.  UK business will still be able to use the Unified Patent Court and unitary patent system to protect their inventions in the EU.

Copyright

The technical notice describes the body of EU law on copyright and related rights which will be affected by a no deal Brexit.  These include:

  • Database rights under the Database Directive;
  • Portability of online content service under the Portability Regulation; and
  • Orphan works under the Orphan Works Directive.

Although the UK's continued membership of the main international treaties (for example, the Paris Convention and the Berne Convention) on copyright and related rights will ensure continued protection of copyright works in the UK and of UK works in the EU, the EU cross-border copyright mechanisms extend only to member states of the EU or EEA.  Therefore, upon Brexit the UK will be treated as a third country and without a deal, reciprocity under these mechanisms will cease to apply to UK rights holders.  This means that UK business may not be able to claim database rights in the EEA, UK consumers may have restrictions placed on their access to online content when travelling within the EU, and organisations applying the orphan works exception in the EEA may be infringing copyright.

Exhaustion of IP rights

Currently, the UK is part of the EEA exhaustion scheme which means that the ability to control distribution and resale of products protected by IP rights is considered exhausted once the products have been put on the market anywhere in the EEA by, or with the permission of, the rights holder.

Upon a no-deal Brexit, the UK government will continue to recognise the EEA regional exhaustion regime in the immediate term to provide continuity to businesses.  This means that there will be no change to the rules for importing goods from the EEA into the UK (for example, goods put onto the market in Germany with the rights holder's permission can be imported into the UK).

The same may not apply for goods that are imported from the UK into the EEA.  This means that business undertaking such activities may need to obtain permission from the relevant rights holder before goods are imported into the EEA from the UK (because following a no-deal Brexit, goods put onto the market by the rights holder in the UK first, before being put onto the market by the rights holder in the EEA, may not be considered to have exhausted rights in the EEA).

The notice states that the UK government is currently considering all options for how the exhaustion regime should operate after this temporary period.

Visit us at mayerbrown.com

Mayer Brown is a global legal services provider comprising legal practices that are separate entities (the "Mayer Brown Practices"). The Mayer Brown Practices are: Mayer Brown LLP and Mayer Brown Europe – Brussels LLP, both limited liability partnerships established in Illinois USA; Mayer Brown International LLP, a limited liability partnership incorporated in England and Wales (authorized and regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority and registered in England and Wales number OC 303359); Mayer Brown, a SELAS established in France; Mayer Brown JSM, a Hong Kong partnership and its associated entities in Asia; and Tauil & Chequer Advogados, a Brazilian law partnership with which Mayer Brown is associated. "Mayer Brown" and the Mayer Brown logo are the trademarks of the Mayer Brown Practices in their respective jurisdictions.

© Copyright 2018. The Mayer Brown Practices. All rights reserved.

This Mayer Brown article provides information and comments on legal issues and developments of interest. The foregoing is not a comprehensive treatment of the subject matter covered and is not intended to provide legal advice. Readers should seek specific legal advice before taking any action with respect to the matters discussed herein.

To print this article, all you need is to be registered on Mondaq.com.

Click to Login as an existing user or Register so you can print this article.

Authors
Similar Articles
Relevancy Powered by MondaqAI
Finnegan, Henderson, Farabow, Garrett & Dunner, LLP
 
In association with
Related Topics
 
Similar Articles
Relevancy Powered by MondaqAI
Finnegan, Henderson, Farabow, Garrett & Dunner, LLP
Related Articles
 
Related Video
Up-coming Events Search
Tools
Print
Font Size:
Translation
Channels
Mondaq on Twitter
 
Register for Access and our Free Biweekly Alert for
This service is completely free. Access 250,000 archived articles from 100+ countries and get a personalised email twice a week covering developments (and yes, our lawyers like to think you’ve read our Disclaimer).
 
Email Address
Company Name
Password
Confirm Password
Position
Mondaq Topics -- Select your Interests
 Accounting
 Anti-trust
 Commercial
 Compliance
 Consumer
 Criminal
 Employment
 Energy
 Environment
 Family
 Finance
 Government
 Healthcare
 Immigration
 Insolvency
 Insurance
 International
 IP
 Law Performance
 Law Practice
 Litigation
 Media & IT
 Privacy
 Real Estate
 Strategy
 Tax
 Technology
 Transport
 Wealth Mgt
Regions
Africa
Asia
Asia Pacific
Australasia
Canada
Caribbean
Europe
European Union
Latin America
Middle East
U.K.
United States
Worldwide Updates
Registration (you must scroll down to set your data preferences)

Mondaq Ltd requires you to register and provide information that personally identifies you, including your content preferences, for three primary purposes (full details of Mondaq’s use of your personal data can be found in our Privacy and Cookies Notice):

  • To allow you to personalize the Mondaq websites you are visiting to show content ("Content") relevant to your interests.
  • To enable features such as password reminder, news alerts, email a colleague, and linking from Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) to your website.
  • To produce demographic feedback for our content providers ("Contributors") who contribute Content for free for your use.

Mondaq hopes that our registered users will support us in maintaining our free to view business model by consenting to our use of your personal data as described below.

Mondaq has a "free to view" business model. Our services are paid for by Contributors in exchange for Mondaq providing them with access to information about who accesses their content. Once personal data is transferred to our Contributors they become a data controller of this personal data. They use it to measure the response that their articles are receiving, as a form of market research. They may also use it to provide Mondaq users with information about their products and services.

Details of each Contributor to which your personal data will be transferred is clearly stated within the Content that you access. For full details of how this Contributor will use your personal data, you should review the Contributor’s own Privacy Notice.

Please indicate your preference below:

Yes, I am happy to support Mondaq in maintaining its free to view business model by agreeing to allow Mondaq to share my personal data with Contributors whose Content I access
No, I do not want Mondaq to share my personal data with Contributors

Also please let us know whether you are happy to receive communications promoting products and services offered by Mondaq:

Yes, I am happy to received promotional communications from Mondaq
No, please do not send me promotional communications from Mondaq
Terms & Conditions

Mondaq.com (the Website) is owned and managed by Mondaq Ltd (Mondaq). Mondaq grants you a non-exclusive, revocable licence to access the Website and associated services, such as the Mondaq News Alerts (Services), subject to and in consideration of your compliance with the following terms and conditions of use (Terms). Your use of the Website and/or Services constitutes your agreement to the Terms. Mondaq may terminate your use of the Website and Services if you are in breach of these Terms or if Mondaq decides to terminate the licence granted hereunder for any reason whatsoever.

Use of www.mondaq.com

To Use Mondaq.com you must be: eighteen (18) years old or over; legally capable of entering into binding contracts; and not in any way prohibited by the applicable law to enter into these Terms in the jurisdiction which you are currently located.

You may use the Website as an unregistered user, however, you are required to register as a user if you wish to read the full text of the Content or to receive the Services.

You may not modify, publish, transmit, transfer or sell, reproduce, create derivative works from, distribute, perform, link, display, or in any way exploit any of the Content, in whole or in part, except as expressly permitted in these Terms or with the prior written consent of Mondaq. You may not use electronic or other means to extract details or information from the Content. Nor shall you extract information about users or Contributors in order to offer them any services or products.

In your use of the Website and/or Services you shall: comply with all applicable laws, regulations, directives and legislations which apply to your Use of the Website and/or Services in whatever country you are physically located including without limitation any and all consumer law, export control laws and regulations; provide to us true, correct and accurate information and promptly inform us in the event that any information that you have provided to us changes or becomes inaccurate; notify Mondaq immediately of any circumstances where you have reason to believe that any Intellectual Property Rights or any other rights of any third party may have been infringed; co-operate with reasonable security or other checks or requests for information made by Mondaq from time to time; and at all times be fully liable for the breach of any of these Terms by a third party using your login details to access the Website and/or Services

however, you shall not: do anything likely to impair, interfere with or damage or cause harm or distress to any persons, or the network; do anything that will infringe any Intellectual Property Rights or other rights of Mondaq or any third party; or use the Website, Services and/or Content otherwise than in accordance with these Terms; use any trade marks or service marks of Mondaq or the Contributors, or do anything which may be seen to take unfair advantage of the reputation and goodwill of Mondaq or the Contributors, or the Website, Services and/or Content.

Mondaq reserves the right, in its sole discretion, to take any action that it deems necessary and appropriate in the event it considers that there is a breach or threatened breach of the Terms.

Mondaq’s Rights and Obligations

Unless otherwise expressly set out to the contrary, nothing in these Terms shall serve to transfer from Mondaq to you, any Intellectual Property Rights owned by and/or licensed to Mondaq and all rights, title and interest in and to such Intellectual Property Rights will remain exclusively with Mondaq and/or its licensors.

Mondaq shall use its reasonable endeavours to make the Website and Services available to you at all times, but we cannot guarantee an uninterrupted and fault free service.

Mondaq reserves the right to make changes to the services and/or the Website or part thereof, from time to time, and we may add, remove, modify and/or vary any elements of features and functionalities of the Website or the services.

Mondaq also reserves the right from time to time to monitor your Use of the Website and/or services.

Disclaimer

The Content is general information only. It is not intended to constitute legal advice or seek to be the complete and comprehensive statement of the law, nor is it intended to address your specific requirements or provide advice on which reliance should be placed. Mondaq and/or its Contributors and other suppliers make no representations about the suitability of the information contained in the Content for any purpose. All Content provided "as is" without warranty of any kind. Mondaq and/or its Contributors and other suppliers hereby exclude and disclaim all representations, warranties or guarantees with regard to the Content, including all implied warranties and conditions of merchantability, fitness for a particular purpose, title and non-infringement. To the maximum extent permitted by law, Mondaq expressly excludes all representations, warranties, obligations, and liabilities arising out of or in connection with all Content. In no event shall Mondaq and/or its respective suppliers be liable for any special, indirect or consequential damages or any damages whatsoever resulting from loss of use, data or profits, whether in an action of contract, negligence or other tortious action, arising out of or in connection with the use of the Content or performance of Mondaq’s Services.

General

Mondaq may alter or amend these Terms by amending them on the Website. By continuing to Use the Services and/or the Website after such amendment, you will be deemed to have accepted any amendment to these Terms.

These Terms shall be governed by and construed in accordance with the laws of England and Wales and you irrevocably submit to the exclusive jurisdiction of the courts of England and Wales to settle any dispute which may arise out of or in connection with these Terms. If you live outside the United Kingdom, English law shall apply only to the extent that English law shall not deprive you of any legal protection accorded in accordance with the law of the place where you are habitually resident ("Local Law"). In the event English law deprives you of any legal protection which is accorded to you under Local Law, then these terms shall be governed by Local Law and any dispute or claim arising out of or in connection with these Terms shall be subject to the non-exclusive jurisdiction of the courts where you are habitually resident.

You may print and keep a copy of these Terms, which form the entire agreement between you and Mondaq and supersede any other communications or advertising in respect of the Service and/or the Website.

No delay in exercising or non-exercise by you and/or Mondaq of any of its rights under or in connection with these Terms shall operate as a waiver or release of each of your or Mondaq’s right. Rather, any such waiver or release must be specifically granted in writing signed by the party granting it.

If any part of these Terms is held unenforceable, that part shall be enforced to the maximum extent permissible so as to give effect to the intent of the parties, and the Terms shall continue in full force and effect.

Mondaq shall not incur any liability to you on account of any loss or damage resulting from any delay or failure to perform all or any part of these Terms if such delay or failure is caused, in whole or in part, by events, occurrences, or causes beyond the control of Mondaq. Such events, occurrences or causes will include, without limitation, acts of God, strikes, lockouts, server and network failure, riots, acts of war, earthquakes, fire and explosions.

By clicking Register you state you have read and agree to our Terms and Conditions