Friday 15 March 2019
We have run out of polite adjectives to describe the continued painful progress of the UK Parliament towards some type of negotiated exit from the EU, but over the past few days the UK Parliament has again rejected the deal proposed by the government, voted against a no-deal Brexit under any circumstances and voted in favour of an extension to the withdrawal period. However, the government is to make a third attempt to secure Parliament’s approval of the withdrawal deal in the next week. If the deal can be approved this time, the government has indicated that there could be a short delay to Brexit until the end of June 2019. Otherwise, any extension sought could be much longer. Without any extension, the default position would still be “no-deal”, as the Brexit date of 29 March 2019 is written into UK law.
It is not yet clear whether the remaining EU countries will agree to an extension, but it is widely recognised that a no-deal Brexit would be as damaging for the EU as it would be for the UK, so it should be expected that some extension will be agreed. However, at this point the length of the extension that will be granted is not clear and until that is decided a no-deal Brexit on 29 March cannot be ruled out entirely.
Our previously published guidance regarding the impact on IP of a no-deal Brexit remains valid and can be found in our article at https://aathornton.wpengine.com/brexit-update-eu-trade-marks/.
It remains our view that no action is needed prior to the withdrawal date for existing EU trade marks and registered designs and we will update you regarding the action that is needed after the withdrawal date.
We will keep you apprised of developments and we will ensure we remain able to support your UK and EU IP needs regardless of the outcome of Brexit.