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International Technology Law Association 2018 European Conference
International Technology Law Association 2018 European Conference - 19.10.18

The 2018 European Conference of the International Technology Law Association is taking place in...

The EPO introduces the Notional Business Person
The EPO introduces the Notional Business Person - 25.06.18

In Decision T1463/11 and T1658/15, relating to the assessment of inventive step for inventions ...

ECJ gets to the heart and sole of the matter….
ECJ gets to the heart and sole of the matter…. - 14.06.18

The Court of Justice of European Union issued its judgement in Louboutin C-163/16 on 12 June 20...

13 June 2018 - the UK joins the Hague Agreement
13 June 2018 - the UK joins the Hague Agreement - 13.06.18

Following its earlier ratification of the Hague Agreement, the UK has now formally joined this ...

IFCLA Conference 2018 - Paris
IFCLA Conference 2018 - Paris - 05.06.18

June 7 our own Julian Potter will be moderating a session on "Collaborative Works: from Infrast...

WPT @ INTA 2018
WPT @ INTA 2018 - 18.05.18

WP Thompson is pleased to be among the many brand protection, trade mark, and IP professionals,...

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'Brexit' - Business Update

The referendum held in the UK in 23 June 2016 on the question of whether the UK should remain in the EU came down in favour of Britain exiting the EU. With the 29 March 2019 date for the UK’s exit from the EU approaching, the UK government and the EU remain in negotiations to arrive at an agreement defining their future relationship. Such an agreement is likely to contain provision for a transitional period to 1 January 2021 before various changes, including those affecting EU trade marks and EU design, come into effect. However, the UK government acknowledges that a scenario in which no agreement can be reached by 29 March 2019 (the so-called ‘no-deal’ scenario) cannot be ignored and has recently produced a series of technical guidance notes to provide clarification on the nature of changes that will occur on 29 March 2019 in such a scenario. This includes a Technical Guidance Note on trade marks and designs if there is no Brexit deal.

EU trade marks and Community designs registered by 29 March 2018 will continue to be protected in the UK by way of a new equivalent UK right requiring minimal administrative burden.

Those with applications for an EU trade mark, or a registered Community design, pending on 29 March 2019 will have nine-months from that date to refile for an equivalent UK right by way of the standard UK procedure and with the filing/priority dates of the EU application retained. 

Provision is also made for the rights arising from Unregistered Community Designs, whereby the UK will provide for national rights mirroring the characteristics of the EU right.

The UK's intended exit from the EU will have no effect on European patent applications which can still be validated and enforced in any of the countries that are contracting countries to the European Patent Convention (EPC). The European Patent Office is not a European Union organisation and a European Patent covers many non EU countries

WP Thompson will strive to ensure that, for its clients, Brexit, whether through agreement or ‘no-deal’ will have as minimal an effect as possible, and for general aspects please see here for our Q&A section on this topic.

Further details on all of the above will be publicised as they become available, but if you have any specific queries or concerns please contact your usual WP Thompson advisor, or email us on, or