MONDAY, 20 NOVEMBER 2017
MARQUES Brexit position paper published
MARQUES has set out its position with regard to Brexit in a nine-page paper which is available to download on the website here.
The paper states that Brexit "has the potential to be a material threat to the interests of the significant number of businesses that own and/or rely on valuable trade mark, design and geographical indicator rights protected in the EU".
MARQUES believes that the governments of the UK and EU27 Member States and the EU Commission need to provide early certainty to businesses in respect of three key objectives:
(1) There will be no loss of their existing IP rights and no diminution in the level of IP protection in the UK and EU27 Member States post-Brexit;
(2) Businesses will not have to incur any, or at least any material, costs to maintain their existing rights; and
(3) There will be no, or as little as possible, administrative burden on businesses in retaining those rights.
The paper includes 12 points setting out in detail how MARQUES believes EU harmonised rights should be dealt with during and after Brexit. These cover rights in force on Brexit, the creation of new rights in the UK post-Brexit, pending applications and litigation based on EU rights.
Other topics addressed include representation and addresses for service; existing contracts, recordal of contractual interests and licensee litigation rights; exhaustion of rights; .eu domain names; Customs actions against counterfeits; and transitional provisions.
The paper states that it is "of serious concern" that with less than 18 months until Brexit day (due in March 2019) there parties have not commenced any dialogue at all about these matters, and urges them to start progress talks. It states: "MARQUES wishes to impress upon all parties involved in the Brexit negotiations the urgent need to start and progress bilateral talks about the technical aspects relating to IP law and procedure as soon as possible."
The position paper was approved by the MARQUES Council, and is based on work undertaken by the Brexit Task Force, including extensive discussions at the Team Meetings in Geneva and the Annual Conference in Prague this year. Thanks to all those who took part in the consultation.
With only 18 months until Brexit day, it is imperative that all the relevant authorities are aware of the issues relating to IP protection and the need to address them. Please do share or forward the position paper to anyone who might find it useful.
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