The team is joined by GuestKats Mirko Brüß, Rosie Burbidge, Nedim Malovic, Frantzeska Papadopolou, Mathilde Pavis, and Eibhlin Vardy
InternKats: Rose Hughes, Ieva Giedrimaite, and Cecilia Sbrolli
SpecialKats: Verónica Rodríguez Arguijo (TechieKat), Hayleigh Bosher (Book Review Editor), and Tian Lu (Asia Correspondent).

Wednesday, 28 March 2018

Brexit 'cliff-edges' - Alliance for Intellectual Property paper

It is a busy Brexit IP day for those in the creative industries (see Eleonora's earlier post on the Commission's notice to stakeholders on copyright here).    This GuestKat was alerted to a paper published within the past hour by the Alliance for Intellectual Property headed "IP and Brexit: outstanding ‘cliff-edge’ risks" (available here, with an accompanying press release here).  What follows is a short summary of the issues raised, but the paper itself (11 pages long) is recommended for those interested.

The IPKitten on a cliff edge
For those who may be unfamiliar with the Alliance, it is a "UK-based coalition of 20 trade associations and enforcement organisations with an interest in ensuring intellectual property rights receive the protection they need and deserve." Its members include representatives of the audiovisual, music, video games and business software sectors, as well as sports industries, branded manufactured goods, publishers, authors, retailers and designers. ​

The paper expressly aims to avoid 'kite-flying' and 'wolf-crying', and positions itself as a constructive document and a genuine aid to Government and policy-makers.   It identifies 5 specific IP risks presented by Brexit, and contains a series of "asks" across the following areas:
    1. A loss of reciprocity for unregistered design rights;
    2. The future of the exhaustion of IP rights in the UK;
    3. Continued entitlement of UK artists to the Artist’s Resale Right for works sold in the EU;
    4. The portability of online content services throughout the EU; and
    5. Rights to broadcast throughout the EU on a single UK license.
Mutual recognition and reciprocity between the UK and EU member states are key themes emerging from the paper, and it cites unanimous opposition across the Alliance to any shift towards international exhaustion.  The paper explicitly requests national exhaustion for UK copyright in the event that the EEA exhaustion regime cannot be maintained.  
The paper also identifies more general concerns and opportunities, including the loss of influence over EU rules during the implementation period (noting the current progression of the Digital Single Market package), increased pressure on enforcement bodies at borders (greater risk of counterfeit imports), and new trade deals with third countries.  It also provides a handy footnoted reference to some of the UK Govt's latest statements on IP issues. 

Following the Commission's notice on Brexit and copyright of this morning, these issues are getting only more pressing.  Food for thought for the UK's (relatively new) IP Minister, Mr Sam Gyimah...

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