Insights Intellectual Property Office publishes Guidance on IP and Retained EU law


The Government introduced the Retained EU Law (Revocation and Reform) Bill on 22 September 2022 and it received its second reading on 25 October 2022. The aim of the Bill is to make it easier to amend, repeal or replace EU law retained on the UK statute book to reduce regulatory burdens and costs on UK businesses. This will end its special status in the UK by 31 December 2023.

The Bill will also make it easier for UK courts to depart from retained EU case law.

The Bill will have an impact across all IP rights. The IPO has identified and listed 73 pieces of IP-related legislation that potentially fall within the scope of provisions of the Bill. The IPO says that it expects this number to change as it identifies further legislation or further considers previously identified legislation.

Given that many areas of IP are interdependent with policies in other government departments and agencies, the IPO says that it is working with those departments and agencies to make sure that such connections are addressed.

There is also a significant amount of EU, or European originated, case law precedent within the IP system. Some of this case law is fundamental to the operation of IP rights. In selected areas, the IPO says that it may seek to codify precedent by converting and consolidating relevant case law into legislation to ensure the continued functioning of the IP framework.

The Government must decide whether REUL that is in scope of the sunset provision should be allowed to lapse or whether to retain, replace or reform it. The IPO says that it wants to consider options for reform, which are beneficial to innovation and growth. The end-2023 deadline means it will work at pace to understand the change, advise ministers on decisions they will need to take, and implement these using the powers in the Bill. To access the IPO Guidance, click here.