Lisbon Agreement Brexit

The Lisbon Agreement and What It Means for Brexit

With the ongoing Brexit negotiations and the looming possibility of a no-deal departure from the European Union (EU), many are left wondering about the ramifications of such a decision. One area of concern is how Brexit will impact intellectual property (IP) laws, specifically those governed by the Lisbon Agreement.

The Lisbon Agreement is an international treaty that provides protection for geographically-indicative products, meaning products that are associated with a specific geographic location and have unique characteristics due to that location. Examples include Champagne from France, Darjeeling tea from India, and Tequila from Mexico. The agreement outlines the rules for registering and protecting these products in international trade.

So, how does this relate to Brexit? Well, the EU has been the authority for the protection of geographically-indicative products since it signed onto the Lisbon Agreement in 1995. This means that if the UK were to leave the EU without a deal, it would no longer be able to rely on the EU’s protection for its own geographically-indicative products, such as Scottish whisky or Cornish pasties.

To mitigate this, the UK has been working on securing its own agreements with other countries to continue the protection of its geographically-indicative products. It has also drafted its own domestic legislation, the Geographical Indications (Amendment) (EU Exit) Regulations 2019, which would establish a national system for the protection of geographically-indicative products in the event of a no-deal Brexit.

However, the situation is not so straightforward. Many of the UK’s geographically-indicative products currently have protected status within the EU, but this would not be automatically transferred to the UK after Brexit. The UK would need to apply for protection within the EU and go through a lengthy process of proving its product’s origin and unique qualities.

Additionally, there are concerns that the UK’s own system for protecting geographically-indicative products may not be as robust as the EU’s. The UK currently has just six products that are protected under the Lisbon Agreement, compared to the EU’s 3,207. This could lead to a weaker system of protection for UK products and possibly even confusion in international trade.

In conclusion, the Lisbon Agreement is just one of many areas that will be impacted by Brexit. The UK’s ability to protect its geographically-indicative products could be at risk, and it will need to work hard to establish its own system of protection and secure agreements with other countries. It remains to be seen what the ultimate impact of Brexit will be on IP laws, but it is certain that the UK must be proactive in protecting its interests.