Following the triggering of Article 50 in March, the UK is expected to leave the EU in 2019. In the two years between now and then, the UK government and EU institutions will negotiate terms of the exit and transitional provisions, including those that affect IP rights.
"MARQUES is uniquely placed to represent the views of European trade mark owners," says Roland Mallinson of Taylor Wessing, who chairs the Task Force and hosted an initial discussion during the Team Meetings in Geneva earlier this year.
There has already been a lot of work done by various associations on IP issues, but Roland says: "Rather than join the chorus spelling out all options, I believe MARQUES should preferably identify those best suited for brand owners. We then need to ensure that the relevant officials and ministers, and those advising them, are fully informed of these and properly take the brand owners' perspective into account in these negotiations."
The Task Force will set up an online poll to identify and rank the key issues for brand owners.
Once these issues have been identified, the Task Force members will communicate them to the relevant government officials in the UK. This may have to be after the UK General Election on June 9 when the new government is confirmed.
Importantly, they will also reach out to officials in other EU member states and the EU institutions to raise the same issues with them. If appropriate, MARQUES will work with other brand owner associations in Europe as well.
There was considerable interest in the Task Force at the Spring Meeting from MARQUES members across Europe. If any other members would like to find out more or get involved, they can contact the Secretariat for more information.
Roland Mallinson, Taylor Wessing, who chairs the Brexit Task Force. The photo of Theresa May was shared on the Prime Minister's Twitter page @Number10gov