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The UK Government’s Guidance on Effects of a “No Deal” Brexit on Geographical Indications (GIs)

On 24 September 2018 the UK Government published a series of Technical Notices addressing various scenarios in which the UK leaves the European Union without an agreement, the so-called “no deal” or “hard” Brexit scenario. The Technical Notice dealing with geographical indications is here.

The current position in the UK (which will remain up until 29 March 2019) is that EU producers can protect their products under GI regulations which implement the requirements under the TRIPS Agreement protecting GIs from imitation and evocation throughout the EU.

In a no-deal scenario, the UK will set up its own GI scheme in order to comply with their obligations under TRIPS. It is envisaged that the scheme will replicate the current EU regime and “be no more burdensome” to producers. The UK will no longer be required to recognise EU GI status. EU producers will be able to apply for UK GI status.

The UK Government anticipate that all current UK GIs will continue to be protected by the EU GI schemes. If not, UK producers will need to submit fresh applications to the European Commission as ‘third country’ producers.

Guidance regarding the proposed UK GI scheme will be published in early 2019.

Please contact your usual J A Kemp adviser if you have any general queries or would like to assess specific implications for your business.

25 September 2018

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