IP Information & News

We stand behind CIPA’s initiative to seek continued involvement with the EUIPO after Brexit

The President of the Chartered Institute of Patent Attorneys (CIPA) has written to the Prime Minister and the Brexit Secretary Dominic Raab, urging them both to ensure that the UK can participate in the EU trade mark and design system after Brexit.

At present, EU trade marks and designs are filed at the European Union Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO), which is an EU institution. If the UK leaves the European Economic Area (EEA) as part of the Brexit deal, EU trade marks and designs will no longer be enforceable in the UK. This will substantially increase costs for both UK- and EU-based trade mark owners, who will now need to protect and possibly enforce their rights in two jurisdictions.

Earlier this year, we reported that the UK and EU had reached an agreement that owners of EU trade marks, designs and plant variety rights would have their rights protected after the expiry of the post-Brexit transition period. This means that existing EU registrations would be replicated in the UK. However, the agreement did not address concerns about pending applications or representation rights.

In its letter, CIPA has requested that the Government, alongside the EU, explores ways in which the UK can continue to participate in the EU trade mark and design system at the EUIPO. This would avoid the need to create new equivalent UK trade mark and design rights, avoiding the potential cost and disruption to business.

As CIPA’s letter points out, the UK Government’s Brexit white paper already contemplates the UK’s participation in EU agencies such as the European Chemicals Agency (ECA) and European Medicines Agency (EMA). So why not add the EUIPO to the list of agencies the UK would like continued involvement with after Brexit?

We fully support CIPA’s initiative as it is clearly in the best interest of our clients and we will be keeping a close watch on further developments.

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