Does ‘Brexit’ mean total chaos for IP?
Intellectual Property lawyers around the globe have started discussing the implications of Brexit after the British Prime Minister, Theresa May recently revealed that Article 50 of the Treaty of Lisbon will be triggered by the end of March, 2017. The referendum by which the British voters opted to leave the European Union does not automatically propel Britain’s exit. Brexit negotiation process can only begin when Article 50 of the Treaty of Lisbon is formally triggered by the United Kingdom. The British Prime Minister also announced a “great repeal bill” which will be used to take in EU regulations into the UK law and it will be left to the discretion of the future governments to remove or amend them at a later stage.
Many IP lawyers are of the view that some key areas of the UK IP law are entirely based on the EU legislation and since post-Brexit, all EU legislation and regulations will expire and disappear from the UK law. Hence, there is a high probability of a situation which can be compared to that of a chaos. It cannot be denied that Brexit is definitely going to create a sense of uncertainty in the minds of IP right owners as well as the prevailing government.
However, Theresa May’s “great repeal bill” can be seen as a slight relief for IP right owners as it will incorporate EU legislation into the UK law to make sure that when UK leaves the EU, there are no serious implications on the IP law. Even if this bill is implemented, the UK government will have to carve out a detailed plan to sustain the stability of the IP law sector as that process would turn out to be really complex. It would also be interesting to see what would happen to the new applications for IP rights post-Brexit.
The views of different lawyers and professionals will keep on varying related to the implications but it should be kept in mind that Intellectual Property has faced far more tempestuous issues in the past and has survived well enough. We hope the same for the IP system post-Brexit too.
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Authored by : Nikhil Kumar