IP Federation Brexit policy position – design rights
17 March 2017
The IP Federation policy position on the protection of design rights following United Kingdom withdrawal from the European Union is as follows:
- We recognise the extreme practical difficulties in securing a suitable bilateral arrangement with the EU which would effectively keep the UK in the Community design system after Brexit.
- Assuming therefore that Community designs will cease to have effect in the UK at Brexit, our strong preference is for all RCDs [Community registered design rights] automatically to be transferred across to the UK register at the time of Brexit.
- On unregistered designs, we acknowledge that the loss of UCD [Community unregistered design right, UDR] is a particular concern for certain sectors of the UK design industry. A new Community-style UK UDR which ‘mirrors’ the existing UCD would go part way to addressing those concerns.
- Existing UK UDR should nonetheless be maintained on Brexit. UK UDR is a well-established and valuable IP right.
- Any newly-created Community-style UK UDR should sit alongside the existing UK UDR and should mirror the existing UCD exactly. The 3 year term of protection for UCDs should not be increased in the UK.
- The UK should make it a priority to secure an agreement with the EU that disclosure in the UK after Brexit would still qualify for UCD in the remaining states of the EU.
- Any potential wider review of the UK law on unregistered design should only be undertaken after Brexit.
- Brexit should not be seen as a reason to introduce criminal sanctions for infringement of unregistered design rights. We strongly oppose such sanctions.
We oppose any introduction of criminal sanctions for UDRs in the strongest possible terms. See IP Federation policy paper PP 1/14 in relation to criminal sanctions for existing UK UDR – many of the same concerns would apply to a Community-style UK UDR.
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To see all our policy papers, click HERE.