What will happen with intellectual property after Brexit has been known for some time, but no one has been sure whether these changes would ever actually take effect, or, if so, when. But now we do. The votes are cast in the 2019 General Election, and the results are in. We know that the Conservative Party has won another five years in power, and that, going forward, it can rely on support from a large majority of elected members of Parliament.
This has three important consequences as far as intellectual property (IP) in the EU and the UK is concerned. Firstly, Brexit will happen. There no longer can be any doubt. Secondly, a “no deal” Brexit is no longer a realistic possibility. For IP, this means that the UK will not suddenly be outside the EU trade mark and design systems on 31st January 2020 (the date the current extension of the UK’s membership of the EU expires). Thirdly, although the UK will now leave the EU on 31st January 2020 (barring something extraordinary happening), there will be a transition period until at least 31st December 2020 during which, the UK will remain part of the EU trade mark and design systems. In other words, it will be “business as usual” for the next twelve months.
However, we think it is important to use the next twelve months wisely. Brexit will not affect patents. But, trade marks and designs will be affected. Over the next twelve months, we will report on what Brexit will mean if you have trade marks and designs. Our trade mark and design teams have been brainstorming the practical and commercial implications of the Brexit changes and there are things we think you should do and think about over the next twelve months. We will be reporting on these in a timely fashion as we go through 2020.
As most of you know, we in Wynne-Jones are lucky because we can handle both UK and EU work after Brexit through AIPEX, our European IP firm. You can come to us and we can look after everything for you in both territories.
So, we look forward to working with you in the year ahead, and, in the meantime, we’d like to take this opportunity to thank you for your support this year, and wish you a very happy and successful 2020.