Brexit Checklist 5 : Intellectual Property

Date: 13/09/2018
Author: Pauline Puig
Company: GMCC

To support businesses consider the changes that might happen following Brexit, the British Chambers of Commerce (BCC) has developed a Business Brexit Checklist. This checklist aims to help companies at both operational and board levels.

Although the European Union and the UK have not yet reached a final agreement, there are a few steps that companies can already start undertaking to plan ahead.

Over the coming weeks we will be focusing on things to look out for to get your business ready for Brexit.

Number 5: Intellectual Property 

At present if your business has registered trademarks within the EU these are applicable for the UK, however with Brexit it is unclear whether trademarks registered in the EU would still be applicable to the UK in the future.

What do you need to bear in mind and how can you get prepared?

  • All existing claims in EU trade marks based on national trade mark rights in the UK will cease to have an effect in the EU potentially after the withdrawal date.
  • Do you own any Intellectual Property rights? It’s important to arrange a meeting with the trademark bodies/ solicitors or IP advisors on how to protect your intellectual property after March 2019.
  • When the UK has left the EU, UK businesses will still be able to register an EU trade mark, which will cover all remaining EU Member States.
  • The Hague system for the international deposit of industrial designs, should consider that, dependent on the Brexit outcomes, once the UK leaves the EU those international registrations will only continue to be valid for the EU 27-member states only and will no longer have any affect in the UK.
  • The UK is a member of the international trade mark system though called the Madrid System. This allows users to file one application, in one language, and pay one set of fees to protect trade marks in up to 113 territories including the EU. UK businesses will continue to have access to the Madrid System when looking to protect their trade marks.

This is only a brief overview of what steps you need to take to protect your Intellectual Property Rights, of course there will be a lot more to be done and it’s important to stay up to date with the latest Brexit news.

If you have any questions or would like to arrange a consultation with a legal representative, please contact Nicole Strickland at or call 0161 393 4355.