Brexit: UK Cabinet backs the Withdrawal Agreement – but what does it say about IP?

Last night the UK Cabinet backed the Withdrawal Agreement and Political Declaration on the Future Relationship agreed between the respective negotiating teams of the UK Government and the EU Commission. 

The Withdrawal Agreement covers the protection of existing unitary intellectual property rights in Articles 54 to 61. The detail has not changed in any material way from the draft Withdrawal Agreement published in February 2018. In short, existing unitary IPR (i.e. registered EU trade marks, registered community designs, unregistered community designs and also protected EU geographical indications) is continued automatically with equivalent separate UK protection granted to unitary IPR rights holders at no cost to them. For our comments on the detail of Articles 54 to 60 (previously Articles 50 to 57) read our earlier blog here. There are further hurdles to overcome before the Withdrawal Agreement is signed however. The EU27 leaders must sign off on the Withdrawal Agreement before the draft is presented to UK Parliament for a “meaningful vote” in early December. The risk of the UK exiting with “no deal” therefore still remains. For more information read the blog on what happens now on our Brexit Hub.

The key documents, including the Draft Withdrawal Agreement and Political Declaration can now be found here.


Authored by Penelope Thornton and Clare Matheson

Penelope Thornton
Senior Knowledge Lawyer
Clare Matheson


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