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Intellectual Property Rights

Volume 645: debated on Thursday 19 July 2018

14. What steps his Department is taking during its negotiations on the UK leaving the EU to ensure that intellectual property rights in the creative sector are maintained. [R] (906548)

UK-owned trademarks and design rights in the EU27 will be unaffected by our withdrawal. Meanwhile, we have agreed to protect all existing EU trademarks, community-registered designs and unregistered designs in the UK as we leave the EU. In place of those EU-level rights, 1.5 million new UK trademarks and registered designs will be granted automatically and for free. The creative industries can therefore be confident that their existing intellectual property rights will not be diminished, and that the UK will remain one of the best places in the world to protect and enforce IP rights.

I thank the Minister for that response. It is extremely reassuring, particularly to the all-party parliamentary group for textiles and fashion, which I chair. However, concerns have been raised with me this week regarding EU-wide trademark and design registrations, because they do not feature specifically in the White Paper and could therefore be at risk, once the definition of the EU no longer includes the UK. Can the Minister reassure the industry in that respect?

Yes, I would like to reassure the industry that we have set out in the White Paper that we want to work with the EU to reflect common arrangements in this space. We recognise that the UK is a world leader in fashion, and it should continue to be. We will ensure that trademarks and unregistered design rights are protected in the UK.