As a business, you could be forgiven for feeling the weight of Brexit preparation lies mainly in the areas of import, export, taxation, accounting, IT, and HR. These headline-leading considerations are all-encompassing but how many of us have added the question of ‘Brexit and brand protection’ onto our list of vital planning? The preservation of intellectual property associated to your brand, services, and products is however as central to the ongoing success of your business as getting your accounting practices in line.
If your brand holds trade marks, designs, or patents for anything that is fundamental to your business, it’s vital to take some time to consult with your legal team to understand the implications a Brexit agreement (or no deal) may have on those IP rights.
The position for each piece of IP is different – Euro Patents obtained from the European Patent Office are not tied to EU membership while EU Trade Marks are and will be affected significantly. In the case that you don’t prepare to protect your European IP rights, it’s entirely possible that a competitor or opportunist could snap up the European use of your IP and undermine your export options altogether.
As brands, as businesses, taking time to assess liabilities and risks, consulting with a legal team, and converting Intellectual Property rights where possible should be front and centre on our Brexit to-do list. Brand proection is key.