Under the Withdrawal Agreement, the protection afforded to existing EU unitary intellectual property rights (trademarks, registered design rights, plant variety rights etc.) on the territory of the UK will be maintained.


Protection of intellectual property rights

All existing protected rights will be protected by the UK via corresponding UK national intellectual property rights. The conversion of the EU right into a UK right for the purpose of protection in the UK will be automatic, without any re-examination and will be free of cost. This will ensure the respect of existing property rights in the UK and provide for the requisite certainty in respect of users and right holders.

The EU and the UK have also agreed that the stock of existing EU-approved geographical indications (GIs) will be legally protected by the Withdrawal Agreement unless and until a new agreement applying to the stock of geographical indications is concluded in the context of the future relationship. Such geographical indications are existing intellectual property rights in the UK and the EU today.

The UK will guarantee at least the same level of protection for the existing stock of those geographical indications that currently applies within the EU. This protection will be enforced through domestic UK legislation.

EU-approved geographical indications bearing names of UK origin (e.g. Welsh Lamb) remain unaffected within the EU and therefore continue to be protected in the EU.

More than 3,000 geographical indications to remain protected in the United Kingdom

More than 3,000 geographical indications, such as Parma ham, Champagne, Bayerisches bier, Feta cheese, Tokaj wine, Pastel de Tentúgal, Vinagre de Jerez, are today protected under EU law as sui generis intellectual property rights for the whole EU, including the UK. The withdrawal of the United Kingdom from the European Union will not lead to any loss of those intellectual property rights. The Agreement on geographical indications covers protected designation of origin, protected geographical indications, traditional specialities that are guaranteed and traditional terms for wine. This agreement will also benefit the geographical indications bearing a name of UK origin (e.g. Welsh lamb): they will also obtain protection under UK law in the UK and maintain the existing protection under EU law in the EU.

Geographical indications have an important value for local communities, both economically and culturally. Each indication protected in the EU represents an agricultural, food or drink product with deep local roots, whose protection under EU law has generated significant value for its producers and the local community. The quality, reputation and characteristics of the products are attributable to their geographical origin. Their protection helps maintaining the authenticity of those products, supports rural development and promotes job opportunities in production, processing and other related services.


Article Published November 15th, 2018