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What does Intellectual Property look like Post Brexit? An Update

 

In our white paper ‘Effects of Brexit on Intellectual Property’ we examine the unique position of intellectual property in a post-Brexit Europe. As an IP recruitment agency watching the IP jobs market and the changes it’s seen over the last year, we urge you to download it. However, as with all things Brexit, news is changing frequently and it’s important to look at the current state of play as things unfurl and we look to the future.

Understanding where we are and where we are going is important for your businesses and, if you’re looking to fill future patent attorney jobs or trademark attorney jobs when the landscape is changing, you'll need to understand it. Read on to understand the latest Brexit news pertinent to intellectual property.

 

IP on the Brexit Agenda

 

We’re glad IP got its own mention in a recent speech by Theresa May. It’s reassuring that it’s going to feature specifically in the Brexit withdrawal agreement in order to provide the “legal certainty and coherence” we’ve been anxious as a sector to see. It’s not just rhetoric either. The initial withdrawal agreement draft honours IP with a notable chunk of attention. So what does it cover?

Primarily the focus thus far is on the future position of European Union trademark (EUTM) holders as well as registered community designs (RCDs). Specifically these parties will find, post-Brexit, that they have equivalent rights in the UK without any hoop jumping required. In fact, they will be so equivalent that really nothing changes much on that score, at least in the short term and on a theoretical level.

The recent speech and the draft withdrawal agreement have given us insight in to IP post-Brexit. We’ve also been given further information on intellectual property rights and data protection in the 6th March technical note on further issues resulting from separation. What is interesting here is the similarities existing between the UK and Europe in terms of IP, and how this will be largely preserved. If we don’t have our own equivalent legislation yet, it has now been promised.

 

IP Jobs Post-Brexit

 

What is interesting as an IP recruitment agency, and instrumental in everyone’s future understanding of IP jobs is that due attention is being given to the nature, scope and quality of qualifications.

In Theresa May’s recent speech above, qualifications were highlighted in that there will be, post-Brexit, mutual recognition of qualifications. This reassurance means we can breathe a sigh of relief in one regard anyway. The IP jobs market requires talent acquisition based on merit alone, it cannot be a tick-boxing exercise, and thus knowing that standards will remain uniform is useful information for the industry. 

 

Is it enough to feel reassured about IP and Brexit?

 

We’d love to say yes, and it certainly goes some way to allaying previous concerns. However, it’s still not quite delivering on the “legal certainty and coherence” that we need on areas such as geographical indications for example. There are still unanswered questions and still some concerns to alleviate. Most pressing of course is the how of the transition and we’re yet to see the true practicalities of this. The UK Intellectual Property Office (IPO) has given some assurance here. The UK government has ratified the World Intellectual Property Organisation’s (WIPO) Hague Agreement meaning you can register designs in their 67 countries in one process.

But largely we continue to wait. Things are coming out in the wash but we’ve still got some laundry to do before we’re ready to pack our Brexit bags.

 

We are a specialist IP recruitment agency with a difference. To discuss your recruitment requirements for both now and post Brexit call us on +44 (0)20 7559 6702.

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