8 February 2019

Brexit Countdown: What you should have done to protect your IP and what you can still do

Sheffield Central Library

Jane Lambert

IP Rights and Brexit  Sheffield Business and IP Centra, Central Library, 6 March 2019 18:00

Because intellectual property protects investment in branding, design, technology and creative output, any change in the nature and extent of the legal protection is likely to impact on the businesses that rely on such protection.  Since EU trade marks, registered and unregistered Community designs, geographical indications and Community plant variety rights will cease to apply to the UK upon its departure from the EU, Brexit will have a substantial impact on all those businesses.

For that reason, I have been writing and speaking about the consequences of Brexit even before the 2016 referendum (see Were we to go - what would Brexit mean for IP? 26 Feb 2016 NIPC Law). I contributed the chapter on IP to Helen Tse's Doing Business after BrexitI have spoken about the topic at leading law schools (see Implications of Brexit on IP Law 19 Jan 2018). I have followed each and every turn of the Brexit negotiations in my Brexit blog in order to advise my clients accurately and comprehensively (see Brexit - Why do I follow the Art 50 (2) Negotiations when I am an IP Lawyer? 26 July 2018).

It might be thought that everything that can be said about IP and Brexit has been said but, unfortunately, that is not the case.  Unless the notification that the Prime Minister gave to the President of the Council on 29 March 2017 is revoked or the notice period is extended before the 29 March 2019 the UK leaves the EU at 23:00 on that day. The impact of this country's departure on business will depend on whether the country leaves on that date and, if it does, on whether it leaves with or without a withdrawal agreement. As I noted in my latest Brexit Briefing we still have no idea of the terms or even the effective date of our departure.

Ever since the withdrawal agreement negotiations began I have advised businesses to prepare for all eventualities including a no deal Brexit.  I have advised them to review their patent, trade mark and design registration portfolios and apply for national or as the case may be EU registrations to fill possible gaps in their legal protection,  I have advised them to read their licences, franchise, joint venture and other agreements and to draft or negotiate contract terms to fill any lacuna.   It may be too late to do some of those things but there is still much that businesses can do.

My talk will list all the issues businesses will encounter when protecting their brands, designs, technology or creative output and the possible countermeasures. By the end of my talk business owners and managers will have a much better idea of possible risks (and maybe even a few opportunities) and the steps they should take.

If you want to come, register here.  It's free but you do have to book. If you want to talk about this subject call me on +44 (0)20 7404 5252 during office hours or send me a message through my contact page.