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Auswirkungen des Brexit für das einheitliche Patentgericht
29.06.2016 / Gottfried Schüll, Dr. Reinhard Fischer

Brexit and the consequences: What will become of community property rights?

C&F explains effects on EU IP rights

Düsseldorf, 29 June 2016 - The Brexit for which the British public voted in the referendum on 23 June 2016 with a narrow majority could become a severe test for the remaining 27 EU countries. The decision may also bring about changes in the field of intellectual property rights. According to Cohausz & Florack (C&F) this concerns in particular the EU trademark and the community design. So far, both rights were valid for the EU as a whole, including Britain. However, with Britain’s expected exit from the EU, this will now change.

What this means for the protection of EU trademarks and community designs in the United Kingdom is currently uncertain. Cohausz & Florack expect a legislative solution, according to which these rights will be transferred to national UK property rights. “Many companies will be uncertain with regard to their property rights in the United Kingdom. We therefore expect that some will already be considering registering UK property rights in addition to community property rights”, says Dr. Reinhard Fischer, Attorney at C&F. EU trademarks, which have so far not been used in the United Kingdom, will also have to be examined further: They could lose their protection for the UK immediately with the withdrawal from the EU. The Brexit may also have an effect on existing license agreements for EU IP rights.

Regarding patents, the introduction of the European patent with unitary effect and thus also the Unified Patent Court (UPC) will probably be delayed. “That is particularly unfortunate, as the UPC promises quicker and more cost-effective protection within the EU for companies that invest in property rights, and thus also provides incentive for innovation”, says Gottfried Schüll, Patent Attorney and Partner at C&F. Until recently, London was proposed as one of the three sites for the Central Chamber of the UPC. However, after Britain's exit from the EU, an alternative to the leading patent infringement location of Germany is not at hand. In addition, it is expected that British patent attorneys and their clients will especially also move to Germany so as to be able to undertake proceedings before the EUIPO (European Union Intellectual Property Office). “However, Britain’s exit from the EU will not change anything for our own clients”, explains Schüll, “as we will continue to keep a close eye on all Brexit-ramifications arising in the area of IP rights”.

Picture credits: lazyllama -