CIPA welcomes EC position on IP rights post-Brexit

Published: 7 September 2017

CIPA welcomes the publication today of the European Commission’s position on intellectual property rights post-Brexit.

CIPA President Tony Rollins said: “We welcome the paper as it helps to provide clarity and legal certainty for rights holders and our members.

“The paper only deals with EU unitary rights, that is, trade marks, registered and unregistered designs, plant variety rights and protected geographical indications, and does not deal with patents.

“This is because the European patent system is not a European Union institution and so will be entirely unaffected by Brexit. For UK-based patent attorneys carrying out European patent work it will continue to be business as usual.

“We do not believe that anything should be read into the lack of mention of the proposed Unitary Patent or Unified Patent Court as neither currently exists and the paper deals only with existing rights.”

Dr Rollins said that, on trade marks and designs, the Commission’s comments reflected the positions of CIPA and other interested professional organisations in the UK.

He said that CIPA agreed with the Commission’s stance on supplementary protection certificates – a form of protection that extends the duration of patents covering active ingredients in medicinal products or plant protection products (e.g insecticides and herbicides) – which broadly reflect CIPA’s position in its paper The Impact of Brexit on IP.

He said CIPA noted the Commission’s comments on exhaustion of rights, adding: “This is a complex topic and the Commission’s paper provides an encouraging starting point for discussions.”

Dr Rollins added: “CIPA will continue to campaign for the UK’s membership of the Unitary Patent and Unified Patent Court system and for the continued rights of trade mark attorneys to represent clients before the EUIPO.”