26 September, 2017 Juan Fernando Marqués

Brexit and the industrial property rights

On 23 June 2016, the citizens of the United Kingdom decided with their vote to leave the European Union and this fact undoubtedly entails legal consequences that also affect the field of industrial property rights.

As far as Community law is concerned, new registrants should carry out two registrations: one in the United Kingdom (IPO) and one in the European Union (EUIPO), since they cannot be broken down by country due to their unitary character. Similarly, owners of Community Trademarks, Models and Drawings could lose the scope of territorial protection in this State after the departure of the country, unless the United Kingdom implements some type of internal legislation to determine the regime of the registries Granted and in force.

On the other hand, applicants for European patents will have no problem in validating a European patent in the United Kingdom because that country remains a signatory to the Munich Convention. Since the European patent does not grant a unitary right, its application and grant procedure is unified after being granted by the EPO requiring the patent holder to decide on which of the signatory countries of the Convention wants protection.

Regarding the European Unitary Patent System, of which Spain is not a party, the abandonment of the European Union would mean that it would be impossible to continue to be part of the system, since only the Member States of the Union can participate.

Finally, if supplementary protection certificates were governed by a European regulation, they would cease to have effect in the United Kingdom.

In conclusion, it will be necessary to wait for the final conditions of the agreement to see if, after leaving the European Union, it also does of the European economic space.