Smit & Van Wyk Patent, Trademark & Registered Designs

Brexit effects on Intellectual Property

Intellectual Property Attorneys

A portmanteau of the words “Britain” and “exit,” it is the nickname for a British exit of the European Union. The UK refers to the union of what were once four separate nations: England, Scotland, Wales and Ireland (although most of Ireland is now independent).

England and Wales voted strongly to leave the EU, and Scotland and Northern Ireland both voted to stay in the EU. The majority of British and Irish citizens voted to leave the European Union.

How will Brexit effect your Intellectual Property?

It is uncertain when the UK will exit the European Union, but once the UK officially notifies the EU of its intention to leave, there is a period of two years in which negotiations for the terms of the exit must be completed. Intellectual Property protection in the UK is a key issue regarding the Brexit results and here are some details provided below.

The European Patent Convention (EPC) is independent of the European Union. The UK’s membership of the European patent system is thus independent of its membership of the EU. After the UK leaves the EU, they will remain a contracting state of the European Patent Convention. The UK will continue to be available to be designated in a European patent application.

Unified Patent Court and Unitary Patent
The Unified Patent Court (UPC) is due to come into existence in 2017, with European patent holders able to request a Unitary Patent (UP) from the date of opening of the UPC. There is likely to be a delay in the opening of the UPC in view of the UK’s decision to leave the EU.

Trademarks and Designs
There will be no immediate loss of protection and once the UK ceases to be a member of the EU, EU-based Trademark and Design rights with respect to the UK will most probably need to be validated in the UK by way of a conversion procedure without any loss of priority in terms of filing dates.

27 June 2016

Home / Blog / Brexit effects on Intellectual Property
Trademark Law - Trademark Attorneys - Brand Protection
Copyright Law - Copyright Attorneys - Content Copyright
Patent Law - Patent Attorneys - Product Patents
Design Law - Registered Designs - Patent Attorneys

More information regarding Intellectual Property:

Copyright Films
It is possible to copyright films in South Africa under the Copyright Act of 1978, because any cinematograph film or storage, fixation, and production such as signalling of data to produce the work fall under the protection. 

Nigeria Trademark Registration
Nigeria is a first to file country and trademark registration is mandatory to be granted rights over a mark.  Nigeria trademarks are valid for 7 years from the filing date and renewable for further periods of 14 years.

Mauritius Trademark Registration
Mauritius trademarks recognise the Nice Classification of goods and services, and allows for multi-class filing. Mauritius trademarks are valid for 10 years from the filing date and renewable for periods of 10 years each upon payment of the renewal fee.

Franchise Agreements
Franchising legal advice is specialised and differs from other areas of law, thus you need find yourself an attorney that specialises in this specific type of law. Franchise attorneys represent the franchisor, as well as the franchisee. 

Validation of European patents in Morocco
The system for validating European patents in Morocco introduced under the validation agreement between the European Patent Organisation and the government of the Kingdom of Morocco provides European patent applicants with a simple and cost-effective way…

PCT National Phase Patents in Africa
The PCT National Phase is the second of the two main phases of the PCT procedure. It follows the international phase and consists in the processing of the international application before each Office of (or acting for a Contracting State) that has been designated in the international application.