Blog: How will Brexit impact UK IP Rights? Introduction – Lexology

Are you concerned about the impact of Brexit on your IP lifecycle? We’ve prepared the following guidance as the introduction to our new Brexit and IP five-part info series where we detail the impacts of Brexit on the various stages of the IP lifecycle.

1. Research and development


  • UK has committed to research funding of £22 billion per year by 2024/25
  • UK researchers can participate in Horizon Europe, subject to agreement on UK’s financial contribution


  • New points-based immigration system applies
  • An Office for Talent is established to smooth the visa application process
  • A new Global Talent visa will allow leading overseas scientists and researchers to work in the UK

2. Protection


  • The existing European patent system remains unaffected
  • The EU database right no longer applies. Databases remain protected through copyright
  • When in force, the EU unitary patent system may help UK businesses protect technology in EU countries


  • A UK equivalent to an EU trade mark is automatically granted
  • An application is required for a UK equivalent to any pending EU trade mark application


  • A UK equivalent to a registered community design is automatically granted
  • An application is required for UK equivalent to any pending registered community design application
  • A new supplementary unregistered design right will automatically protect the appearance of products

3. Regulation


  • Pharmaceutical products and medical devices must be registered with the MHRA

Responsible person:

  • A UK responsible person must be appointed by EU/oversees manufacturers of medicines, medical devices and other regulated goods


  • The new UKCA mark must be applied to certain goods marketed in Great Britain.
  • The UK(NI) mark is required for goods marketed in Northern Ireland
  • The CE mark is also required for regulated goods intended for the EU market

4. Commercialisation


  • The EU-UK trade deal ensures tariff free imports.
  • A new VAT import regime applies
  • Enhanced customs declarations and checks may slightly delay supplies of materials and components


  • The EU-UK deal ensures tariff free exports to the EU. Enhanced customs declarations and checks may slightly delay export process


  • Licensing arrangements with EU manufacturers or distributors may benefit a commercialisation strategy within the EU

5. Enforcement


  • An EU representative must be appointed in trade mark and design proceedings before the EU IPO

CJEU decisions:

  • CJEU decisions made after 1 January 2021 are not binding on the UK

Unitary Patent Court:

  • When in force, UK businesses may face litigation within the new EU Unified Patent Court, if their actions within EU countries infringe existing rights

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