Insights What would Brexit mean for my business’ Intellectual Property rights in Europe?


I recently had the opportunity to talk to Emma Featherston at The Guardian about the impact on a business’s Intellectual Property should the UK decide to leave the EU.

Copyright in the EU is still basically territorial. However, UK businesses reliant on copyright will be affected by pending EU regulatory (the so-called Pay-TV case involving the US film studios and Sky) and legislative initiatives (the draft Portability Regulation and a further proposal expected in the fall) – whether the UK is in or out. The impact for such businesses ultimately depends on the deal that the UK cuts if it decides to go. If it goes for something akin to the EEA (like Norway) then the UK would still be required to follow EU copyright rules but no longer have a say in formulating them. EU copyright law has benefited from the presence of the UK in the EU by tempering the Franco-German approach and there is copyright reform on the horizon as part of the EU’s Digital Single Market strategy.  For the UK content sector – the most successful in the EU – and other stakeholders dependent on access to its internal market, this will be a key consideration.