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European Commission Brexit Paper on Intellectual Property – a closer look
As noted in our post earlier this week, the European Commission has released its position paper on the treatment of intellectual property (IP) rights (including geographical indicators) after the UK completes its exit from the EU. It sets out general principles on unitary IP rights, geographical indicators, exhaustion, supplementary protection certificates and the protection of databases.
CITMA recently published its position paper on post-Brexit registered trade mark and design rights, and rights of representation. Many elements of the EU paper reflect the position of CITMA, in particular the unitary character of IP protection for European Union Trade Marks (EUTMs) in the UK and EU after the withdrawal date. However, there are two aspects of particular interest to UK practitioners that were not addressed: rights of representation and reciprocity of UK geographical indicators. (more…)
Brexit, IP and the European Commission’s Position Paper
Earlier in September the European Commission published this position paper on Intellectual Property Rights (including geographical indications) in the context of negotiations under Article 50 TEU.
The position paper, which runs only to 5 pages (actually a fairly meagre 3 and a half pages once you strip out the cover sheet and white space), notes that the UK’s withdrawal from the EU will create uncertainty both for Intellectual Property Right (IPR) holders in the UK and the remaining 27 members of the EU (EU27) in relation to the scope of protection of intellectual property rights.
The position paper goes on to set out some general principles that should apply when the Withdrawal Agreement comes into force. The paper mentions trade mark rights, design rights, supplementary protection certificates (SPCs), database rights and exhaustion of rights. Much media attention was also directed toward the section on Geographical Indications (GIs).
IPcopy has summarised the main points of the paper below but feels like the paper comes across as a bit of a weak effort. It’s quite a high level document which is looking at matters pretty much only from the point of view of EU27 stakeholders. There is nothing on representation rights for EU trade mark and design attorneys (which is important for UK stakeholders as well as attorneys) and nothing on the unitary patent system.
The paper also strays, to my mind at least, into the territory of future arrangements (see reference to UK putting in place domestic legislation for GIs) which is something that Michel Barnier said wouldn’t happen until “sufficient progress” had been made on the withdrawal negotiations. Or maybe I’m reading too much into it….. (more…)
Brexit: Labour’s 170 Questions for the Government
The Labour Party released a set of 170 Brexit related questions last week to cover each day between 13 October 2016 and the Article 50 notification deadline announced by the Prime Minister at the Conservative Party conference, 31 March 2017.
IPcopy took a quick look at the questions to see whether any were IP themed ones and, if there were any such questions, how far down the list these came.
We found references to the unitary patent system and also to geographical indications. (more…)
These aren’t just any sausages, these are Newmarket sausages
Sausages made in Newmarket, Suffolk have been awarded the Protected Geographical Indication (PGI) status from the European Commission. The Suffolk sausages join the ranks of protected foods such as Stilton blue cheese and Melton Mowbray pork pies.
The PGI status means that only products actually originating in the specific town, region or country in question may be identified as such (for example, only sausages produced in the town of Newmarket and a very specific surrounding region may be named ‘Newmarket sausages’). Generally, the products in question have very specific flavours or characteristics and so strict rules also govern the manufacture of products marketed under the PGI status. For example, Newmarket sausages must be made from prime cuts of pork from the whole carcass (no offal) and must have a minimum meat content of 70%.