How will Brexit impact UK IP Rights? Introduction

Are you concerned about the impact of Brexit on your IP lifecycle? We’ve prepared the following guidance as the introduction to our new Brexit and IP five-part info series where we detail the impacts of Brexit on the various stages of the IP lifecycle.

1. Research and development


  • UK has committed to research funding of £22 billion per year by 2024/25
  • UK researchers can participate in Horizon Europe, subject to agreement on UK's financial contribution


  • New points-based immigration system applies
  • An Office for Talent is established to smooth the visa application process
  • A new Global Talent visa will allow leading overseas scientists and researchers to work in the UK

2. Protection


  • The existing European patent system remains unaffected
  • The EU database right no longer applies. Databases remain protected through copyright
  • When in force, the EU unitary patent system may help UK businesses protect technology in EU countries


  • A UK equivalent to an EU trade mark is automatically granted
  • An application is required for a UK equivalent to any pending EU trade mark application


  • A UK equivalent to a registered community design is automatically granted
  • An application is required for UK equivalent to any pending registered community design application
  • A new supplementary unregistered design right will automatically protect the appearance of products

3. Regulation


  • Pharmaceutical products and medical devices must be registered with the MHRA

Responsible person:

  • A UK responsible person must be appointed by EU/oversees manufacturers of medicines, medical devices and other regulated goods


  • The new UKCA mark must be applied to certain goods marketed in Great Britain.
  • The UK(NI) mark is required for goods marketed in Northern Ireland
  • The CE mark is also required for regulated goods intended for the EU market

4. Commercialisation


  • The EU-UK trade deal ensures tariff free imports.
  • A new VAT import regime applies
  • Enhanced customs declarations and checks may slightly delay supplies of materials and components


  • The EU-UK deal ensures tariff free exports to the EU. Enhanced customs declarations and checks may slightly delay export process


  • Licensing arrangements with EU manufacturers or distributors may benefit a commercialisation strategy within the EU

5. Enforcement


  • An EU representative must be appointed in trade mark and design proceedings before the EU IPO

CJEU decisions:

  • CJEU decisions made after 1 January 2021 are not binding on the UK

Unitary Patent Court:

  • When in force, UK businesses may face litigation within the new EU Unified Patent Court, if their actions within EU countries infringe existing rights

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This information is for general information purposes only and does not constitute legal advice. It is recommended that specific professional advice is sought before acting on any of the information given. Please contact us for specific advice on your circumstances. © Shoosmiths LLP 2024.



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