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Brexit update

Bloomsbury IP/IT Law Briefing

James Nurton
Bloomsbury Professional

Following its success in the General Election on 12 December, the Conservative government has reiterated its intention to pass the Withdrawal Agreement Bill by 31 January, ensuring that the UK leaves the EU on that date and enters a transition period. The Bill passed its second reading on 20 December.

The transition period will last until 31 December 2020, and the government has legislated to ensure that it will not be extended. The UK IPO will create so-called comparable UK trade marks and design rights based on EUTMs and registered Community designs on Brexit day. The IPO has published guidance on matters including pending applications, opting out, trade mark use, reputation and enforcement.

The Prime Minister’s spokesperson has said that the Bill will provide for lower courts, and not just the Supreme Court, to depart from CJEU rulings after Brexit. This could lead to significant changes, in particular in trade mark and copyright cases. It may also make it more difficult for the UK to participate in the Unified Patent Court.