The United Kingdom is likely to exit the European Union on either March 29, 2019, or on December 31, 2020, depending on whether there is “a deal” (there’s always a chance the parties extend the negotiations or the UK revokes its Brexit notification). Assuming one of these is the “Exit Day,” Intellectual Property (IP) owners need to evaluate their portfolios and operations in Europe now.
To us, a hard Brexit seems a real possibility. Without going into what a “deal” might look like – something the British Parliament is unable to formulate – Her Majesty’s Government is preparing draft legislation that covers a number of IP issues in the event of “No Deal” with no transition period. This short summary, based on the draft legislation as of January 31, 2019, is intended to spark discussions about your European IP portfolio strategy in the worst-case scenario and actions that may need to be taken in the event of a hard Brexit in March. The following portrays neither a comprehensive nor a definitive picture of the situation, which remains extremely fluid and subject to possible delays.