Dec 3, 2018

IP Minister in Brexit resignation

Over the weekend the minister with responsibility for Intellectual Property matters, Sam Gyimah, resigned from government.

The Secretary of State for Universities, Science, Research and Innovation was only appointed in January 2018, but has quit over his concerns about the proposed Brexit deal. Specifically, he cited the UK's decision to pull out of the EU's satellite navigation system 'Galileo'. Galileo is Europe's answer to the US GPS system which is currently dominant in the satellite navigation field.

Mr Gyimah resigned with a comprehensive Facebook post outlining his reasoning. While it acknowledged that the Brexit deal was hard won, he pointed out that all of the key decision on the future relationship are still to be agreed, and will rely on the EU's "best endeavours".

What will this mean for intellectual property in the UK? In all likelihood, not much. While Mr Gyimah might have been the minister with responsibility for IP, the major issues facing the sector arise out of Brexit and have all been handled by the negotiating team from the Department for Exiting the EU.

We will have to wait and see who is appointed to lead the department through Brexit itself, and hope that IP will feature as prominently in the discussions of the future relationship as it has in the draft withdrawal agreement.

If you have any questions on the above, please do not hesitate to contact the team at McDaniel & Co. on 0191 281 4000 or


in: EU/International, Legal News

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