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UK Patent Law and Copyright Law After Brexit - Potential Consequences

McDonagh, L. (2017). UK Patent Law and Copyright Law After Brexit - Potential Consequences. Waterloo, ON, Canada: Centre for International Governance Innovation (CIGI) and British Institute of International and Comparative Law (BIICL).


This paper examines the areas of patent law and copyright law in the context of Britain’s exit from the European Union, or “Brexit.” Although neither area of intellectual property (IP) is fully harmonized, the United Kingdom’s exit from the European Union could nonetheless have a sizable impact on both sets of rights. For patents, Brexit could lead the United Kingdom to diverge from EU principles on biotechnology and supplementary protection certificates, and also puts the United Kingdom’s role in the new Unified Patent Court (UPC) system into doubt. In the area of copyright, the United Kingdom could use Brexit as an opportunity to move away from EU standards, including the key definitions of originality and parody. Ultimately, however, this paper argues that the slogan “take back control” is unlikely to lead to dramatic changes in the IP field. Both the European Union and the United Kingdom will likely seek to retain a great deal of regulatory convergence and cooperation over IP.

Publication Type: Monograph (Working Paper)
Additional Information: Copyright © 2017 by the Centre for International Governance Innovation
Departments: The City Law School > Academic Programmes
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