With a possible Brexit date of 29 March 2019, the UK Government has now published guidance on what they consider to be the fall-back position for EU design protection in the event of a “no deal” scenario. 

There are various uncertainties still remaining, but the UK Government appears to intend to avoid any potential loss of rights by EU design right holders and applicants, even as a fall-back position. I would emphasise that this is only guidance and can be changed by the UK Government; legislation will be required to provide certainty to rights holders.

In the guidance they have now stated that granted Registered Community (EU) Designs (“RCDs”) will continue in force in the UK after the Brexit date. They have also stated that there will be a nine month period after the Brexit date in which to file a UK design application corresponding to any RCD application pending as of the Brexit date whilst maintaining priority and filing dates. 

Regarding registered designs under the Hague system designating the EU, the UK Government has issued little guidance other than stating that they are working with WIPO to ensure continued protection in the UK.

Regarding unregistered rights, in the event of a no deal scenario the UK Government has stated that they will take steps to ensure Unregistered Community (EU) Designs (“UCDs”) will continue in force in the UK after Brexit and that a new right will be created to mirror the protections provided by UCDs in the UK after the Brexit date.

I suggest visiting www.boult.com/news/ for further discussion.