The BREXIT Effect

The BREXIT Effect

With the masses of United Kingdom choosing to leave the European Union, it has raised many questions about its affects on various arenas of Trade and Law that the EU system had self sustained itself in. One of the major concerns is regarding Intellectual Property Law.


Britain’s exit from EU is going to be most detrimental to the trademark laws of the EU.  Presently all trademark applications in EU is filed at the European Union Intellectual Property Office. The whole of EU is part of the European Union Trade Mark System, which is applicable in all the EU member states. With Britain’s exit Trade Mark registration would be required to be done separately in UK and EU. A transitional provision is expected to be introduced to allow such EUTM applications for UK’s national registration. It is quite probable that trademarks would be required to be re registered under the UK’s National registration system. As the future of EU and UK’s relationship is unknown, it would be safe to expect applicants to registers in EU and UK individually. Thus, increasing registration cost for prospective applicants.

Another effect that is likely to surface is the “revocation of trademark due to non use”. Marks in use in UK, would no longer constitute “use” under EUTM, as it would no long be a member state.


BREXIT will not have much effect on the EU patenting system. As UK is part of the PCT independent of the EU membership. Though the proposed Unified Patent Court, in a Unitary Patent system would suffer some major heat of this exit. This Unitary system was to be in force to make the patenting system of EU unified and single phased. With an aim to cut cost of the present EU patenting system, the UPC expected applicant to file a single application to be applicable in all of the member states. According the present standing France, Germany and UK are the biggest patent applicant in the EU, with Britain’s exit the patent litigation and reputation in the EU would suffer. As the patent application would be again required to be filed individually in UK and EU, ultimately defeating the purpose of the UPC , that is cost cutting

For Britain to be a part of the Unitary Patent system the UPC Agreement has to be ratified by a member state. UK may still ratify the UPC Agreement in the 2 year interim period given to a member state who wishes to exit the EU under the Lisbon Treaty, but an impractical move on UK’s end as it would have to ultimately withdraw from the system.

Copyright and Design.

Copyright Laws would have no effects whatsoever with BREXIT, as the copyright laws in EU have not been properly harmonized. As for Design laws, Britain would have to be a member of the Hague Design System individually. UK is presently part of Hague, by default of being an EU member.

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