As I have written over the past few weeks, it is important that your business is ready for the end of the transition period on December 31 which is 49 days away. In this week’s letter I want to focus on Intellectual Property rules.

In just 49 days there will be changes to how the Intellectual Property (IP) system and the Intellectual Property Office (IPO) will operate. These changes will affect:

Trade Marks and Designs
Parallel trade from the UK to the EEA
Unregistered Designs

You can find out more information about all of these changes in this news story from the IPO.

Help is available to ensure your business is ready. I urge you to:

• Consider carefully where to disclose your designs to ensure they have adequate protection in their most important market;
• If you export IP-protected goods on the secondary or parallel market, contact the rights holder in the EEA to see if you have permission to continue to parallel export.
• Consider if you want exports to continue if you are a business that owns the IP rights for goods currently parallel exported from the UK to the EEA.

If you do not take action, there is a risk your business operations will be interrupted. You can find out what other actions you may need to take by using the checker tool at gov.uk/transition and signing up for business readiness updates.

I know this is a tough time for many businesses as we continue to face the challenges posed by coronavirus. I want to take the opportunity to thank you for all you are doing to combat those challenges and in helping to ensure a smooth end to the transition period. The Government is determined to help you take advantage of the new opportunities that being an independent trading nation will bring.

Yours sincerely,

Rt Hon Alok Sharma MP
Secretary of State for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy


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