European Commission draft Brexit withdrawal agreement: intellectual property


The European Commission has published the draft agreement on the withdrawal of the UK from the EU and the European Atomic Energy Community (Brexit). Title IV addresses intellectual property (IP). It provides for the following:

  • Holders of EU trade marks (EUTMs), Community designs and Community plant variety rights registered or granted before the end of a defined transition period will become holders of comparable IP rights in the UK (Article 50(1), Withdrawal Agreement). The transition period will start on the date of entry into force of the agreement and end on 31 December 2020 (Article 121). 
  • Certain geographical indications and designations of origin protected in the EU at the end of the transition period will remain protected in the UK (Article 50(2)).
  • Preservation of filing and priority dates and seniority for converted trade marks (Article 50(5)).
  • Trade marks in the UK will not be liable to revocation on the ground that the corresponding EUTM was not genuinely used in the UK before the end of the transition period, while converted trade marks will continue to benefit in the UK from reputation acquired in the EU (Article 50(5)).
  • Streamlined and cost-free procedures for the conversion of rights (Article 51).
  • Similar continued protection in the UK to the above for international IP registrations designating the EU, unregistered Community designs and databases (Articles 52 to 54).
  • A priority right in the UK for six months from the end of the transition period for pending EUTM and Community plant variety rights applications (Article 55).
  • Preservation of applications for supplementary protection certificates in the UK pending at the end of the transition period (Article 56).
  • IP rights exhausted both in the EU and the UK before the end of the transition period will remain exhausted in both territories (Article 57).

See full text here:

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