The Draft Agreement on the withdrawal of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland from the European Union and the European Atomic Energy Community (‘draft agreement’) was – finally – published on 14 November 2018. The draft has been endorsed by the UK Cabinet but will require approval in the House of Commons and it could meet with stiff opposition. The draft agreement also contains provisions which impact upon certain IP rights, including trade marks and designs.
Overall, the draft agreement provides welcome clarifications with respect to EU-law based IP rights and allows for a smooth transition and an end-point that is as close to the status quo as could be hoped for. Most notably it provides for a continued protection in the UK of EU trade marks. Of course, the biggest risk at present is whether the UK Parliament will approve the agreement in its current form.