New draft Brexit withdrawal agreement published

15th Nov 2018

IP rights and rights of representation feature in the draft withdrawal agreement, published on 14th November 2018.

Brexit

The European Union (EU) and UK Government has published its updated draft withdrawal agreement

In the paper – which has been agreed at EU-UK negotiator level – it reconfirms that owners of registered EU trade marks and registered community designs will have their rights cloned onto the UK register to ensure continued protection. 

It also has been agreed that UK Chartered Trade Mark Attorneys will maintain rights of representation for ongoing proceedings at the EU Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO).

Immediate Past-President of The Chartered Institute of Trade Mark Attorneys Kate O’Rourke said: “Businesses and IP rights owners will be reassured that the continued protection of registered EU trade marks and registered community designs in the UK has been reaffirmed in the draft withdrawal agreement. 

“We are encouraged that rights of representation at the EUIPO will continue for ongoing proceedings. This ensures some continuity and is a step in the right direction.  

“However, it is very disappointing that there is no clarity on continued rights of representation for UK Chartered Trade Mark Attorneys before the EUIPO. We firmly believe that it is in the best interests of business and the UK legal professions that UK professional representatives should retain their rights to practice before the EUIPO”

The draft withdrawal agreement includes a transition period until the end of December 2020. However, this could be extended with agreement from both sides. During the transition UK Chartered Trade Mark Attorneys would continue to have the rights to practice before the EUIPO. 

The draft agreement will now go forward to a 'Brexit summit' on Sunday 25th November. 

Article 97 of the draft agreement covers rights of representation at the EUIPO. It states:

“Where, before the end of the transition period, a person who is authorised to represent a natural or legal person before the European Union Intellectual Property Office in accordance with Union law was representing a party in a procedure brought before that Office, that representative may continue to represent that party in that procedure. This right shall apply to all stages of the procedure before that Office.”

It goes on to say: “such representative shall in every respect be treated as a professional representative authorised to represent a natural or legal person before the European Union Intellectual Property Office in accordance with Union law.”

Click here to read the full draft withdrawal agreement

The Government has also published a shorter, explanatory, version, click here to read it

Further reading

Parliamentary report calls for UK representation at EUIPO post-Brexit

A new parliamentary report calls for Government to seek continued rights of representation for UK representatives at the EUIPO. 

25th Oct 2018 | News

Trade marks, designs, business and Brexit

We set out the business case for clarity, collaboration & concerted action on post-Brexit IP.

5th Dec 2017 | Brexit

CITMA Brexit position paper

Our position on post-Brexit registered intellectual property rights (trade marks and designs) and rights of representation

12th Jul 2017 | Brexit
Read more on Brexit