Intellectual Property

The EU-UK Trade and Cooperation Agreement, now in place, means change. It will require adapting to new trading arrangements, rules and regulations. This information for cross-border SMES in Ireland and Northern Ireland will introduce intellectual property, what it means, the position now and next steps.

What is Intellectual
Property?

Intellectual property is defined as something that you create using your mind. For example, a story, an invention, an artistic work or a symbol.


protecting Intellectual Property

Having the right type of intellectual property protection helps you to stop people stealing or copying the names of your products or brands, inventions, the design or look of products and things you write, make or produce.

the main types of Intellectual Property protection

From 1st January 2021 there will be changes to UK intellectual property law, for example, the use of representatives and address requirements to represent, UK address for service, changes to IP rights and international trade marks and designs. 

Important Intellectual Property Information

The main intellectual property rights cover a number of areas outlined below: 

  • Patents are concerned with inventions producing a technical result – of new and improved products, processes and uses that are capable of industrial application.
  • Trade Marks are concerned with brand identity – principally of goods and services. They can be distinctive words, marks or other features, the purpose of which is to make a distinction in the mind of a customer between different traders, products and services.
  • Designs are concerned with the appearance of a product – of the whole or a part of a product – features of, in particular, shape, configuration, contours, texture or materials of the product itself not dictated by functional considerations.
  • Copyright is concerned with original literary works such as novels, poems and plays, musical and artistic works such as musical compositions, sound recordings and TV and radio broadcasts, software, multimedia films, drawings, maps, charts, plans, paintings, photographs and sculptures and works of architecture. Rights related to copyright include those of performing artists in their performances, producers of phonograms in their recordings, and those of broadcasters in their radio and television programs.

changes to UK intellectual property law

Parallel trade between the UK and the EEA
Actions for parallel exporters of Intellectual property -protected goods to the EEA
Actions for Intellectual property rights holders
Use of representatives and address requirements to represent
Changes to Intellectual property rights (Including Trade marks, designs, patents)
Changes affecting SPCs due to the Northern Ireland Protocol

Key Actions 

If your business is based in Ireland, click here for more information from Intellectual Property Office of Ireland.

If your business is based in Northern Ireland, click here for more information from GOV.UK.

Read the latest update from GOV.UK on retaining protection in the UK for EU Intellectual Property rights, click here.

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