A case for clarity, collaboration & concerted action

Business-caseClarity, collaboration and concerted action from government is needed to protect UK business and our world-leading intellectual property sector.

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Our report sets out why the rights of Chartered Trade Mark Attorneys to represent clients and businesses before the EUIPO is of paramount importance and why those rights must continue after Brexit.

The report sets out the economic impact of losing these rights, highlighting the cost to UK business, the economy and the UK legal profession. We also set out the need for certainty on the protection of EU registered rights in the UK.

The case highlights the impact that exiting the European Union could have on UK businesses with intellectual property interests in the EU – an industry worth an estimated £650 billion.

According to new research, the UK‘s Chartered Trade Mark Attorneys handle nearly 25% of all European Union Trade Marks (EUTMs) making them the largest representative body in the EU. This is more than counterparts in Germany, and in Spain and Italy combined.

However, without the necessary framework in place, UK Chartered Trade Mark Attorneys will lose their right to represent their clients in the EU, resulting in increased costs to UK businesses, damage to key transnational business relationships and a shrinkage in the legal profession.

UK Chartered Trade Mark Attorneys also lead in Europe in protecting and enforcing the rights of EUTM owners outside the EU - for example, they represent over 50% of all EUTMs registered by businesses from the USA. But there are worrying signs that international clients would leave their UK attorneys if rights of representation are lost.

The new research estimates that the direct impact on the legal profession of UK Chartered Trade Mark Attorneys losing their right to represent clients in the EU could be at least £8.5 million per year, and that the potential associated lost income could be up to £1.7 billion per year.

Given the threats posed to UK Plc and the legal sector, CITMA is calling on the Government to preserve the rights of representation for UK Chartered Trade Mark Attorneys at the EUIPO, and ensure that all EU registered trade marks continue to have the same scope of protection in the UK, following Brexit.

President of CITMA Kate O’Rourke, said: “Trade mark intensive industries contribute £650 billion to the UK’s gross domestic product every year. It is the protection of these valuable intellectual property rights by UK Chartered Trade Mark Attorneys that allows for the exploitation of trade mark and design rights by UK business internationally.

“It is not only important to Chartered Trade Mark Attorneys, but to all businesses and organisations which own and utilise trade marks and designs, that acceptable and timely solutions are found on the issues of rights of representation before the EUIPO and what happens to existing EU registered rights.

“Our key message to the Government is an urgent need for clarity, as we are already seeing an impact on our profession and business. The potential loss of rights of representation for Chartered Trade Mark Attorneys before the EUIPO has huge risks for businesses in the UK. These rights are also valuable to facilitate our vital international commercial and legal relationships with major economies, including the USA and China, that the Government is rightly seeking to encourage.”

Click here to download the business case report