On 1 January 2021, the Trade and Co-operation Agreement (TCA) came into force and the general principles of EU law, existing EU treaties and EU free movement rights ceased to apply in the UK, after the transition period set out in the Withdrawal Agreement ended on 31 December 2020. Under the European Union (Withdrawal) Act 2018, EU regulations only continue to apply in the UK to the extent that they have not been modified or revoked by regulations under that Act.

The TCA itself had very little impact on IP rights – it provides minimum measures for IP protection with scope for implementing stricter measures. The minimum measures have already been implemented in the UK and EU. Under the TCA, intellectual property rights (IPRs) (both registered and unregistered) will continue to be protected to at least the standards required by the international agreements which the UK and EU are both parties to, and, in many cases, to a higher standard.

Read More