In a year dominated by headlines relating to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, Brexit has been under the radar. However, from 1 January 2021, significant changes will take place. There will be changes to intellectual property law in the UK, following the end of the transition period on 31 December 2020.
UK national design registrations will be unaffected by Brexit. However, in relation to Registered Community Designs (RCDs), the Withdrawal Agreement sets out that the holder of a Registered Community Design that has been registered by the end of the transition period (or, if publication has been deferred, published by the end of the transition period) will be automatically granted an equivalent UK national registered design for the same design. Holders of a right in relation to an unregistered Community design which arises before the end of the transition period shall automatically become the holder of an equivalent UK right affording the same level protection.
On the other hand, at the end of the transition period, registered Community designs (RCDs) and unregistered Community designs (UCDs), will no longer be valid in the UK. These rights will be immediately and automatically replaced by UK rights as noted above. The UK Government has confirmed that it will ensure by legislation that an equivalent enforceable registration will be provided for existing registrations which are fully published. Further, any unregistered Community design right arising before the end of the transition period will continue to be valid for the remaining period of protection. In addition, the UK is creating a supplementary unregistered design right which will mirror features of the unregistered Community design.
If you would like further information in relation to changes to the law concerning UK and EU designs after 1 January 2021, please don't hesitate to contact the team on 0191 281 4000, or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org: Designs, Legal News