CPVO Brexit transition period

CIPA worked with the UK Intellectual Property Office and a concerned member to secure changes to misleading advice being issued by the EU’s Community Plant Variety Office (CPVO) relating to Brexit and the transition period.

CIPA Fellow and plant variety rights expert Simon Bradbury alerted staff to a notice and webpage published by the CPVO, which notified rights holders of their “obligation” to appoint an EU-based legal representative by Brexit day on 31 January if they wanted to retain their rights and proceed with a pending application.

Simon, a partner at Appleyard Lees, wrote to the CPVO, copying CIPA, pointing out that the EU and the UK had agreed a withdrawal deal and that the UK would be treated as if were a member of the EU until the end of the transition period on 31 December 2020.

CIPA staff immediately alerted colleagues at the UK Intellectual Property Office, who took the matter up with the CPVO.

Independently of this, Simon escalated the matter, writing to CPVO President Martin Ekvad.

The result of this combined lobbying was that, on 24 January, the CPVO published fresh guidance confirming that:

“Neither a refusal of applications nor the cancellation of existing rights will occur during the said transition period based on the non-designation of a procedural representative in EU27 for UK applicants or applicants represented by UK procedural representatives.

“We apologise for not having referred to the eventual impact of a ratified withdrawal agreement in the previous note and for any inconvenience this may have caused.”

We thank Simon for his vigilance and persistence on behalf of members and our friends at the UK IPO for pursuing the matter on our behalf.

Neil Lampert 

Date published: 31 January 2020

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