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IP and Brexit: outstanding ‘cliff-edge’ risks

28 March 2018

The Alliance for Intellectual Property has today published a new paper on a number of ‘cliff-edge’ risks associated with Brexit and the UK’s future relationship with the EU. It calls for detailed assurances and consultation from Government to give confidence to the UK’s vital and growing IP rich industries.

Since the vote to leave the EU, the Alliance has worked closely with the UK Government to assess the impact of Brexit on our members and on the UK’s IP framework, which does so much for the UK economy, its cultural standing and global soft power. Nonetheless there are issues which still have no clear solutions and at which urgent attention must be directed.

Eddy Leviten, Director General of the Alliance for Intellectual Property, said:

“The Alliance welcomes the Government’s domestic efforts and commitments thus far to protect the UK’s world-leading IP regime post-Brexit. However a number of specific and considerable issues regarding our future relationship remain unresolved.

Our members need greater certainty, and we hope that the deep concerns outlined in this report can help focus minds, garner explicit commitments on the Government’s intentions and guide negotiations to agree a comprehensive and reciprocal trading relationship with the EU.”

The specific issues identified by the report are:

  • A loss of reciprocity for unregistered design rights

  • The future of the exhaustion of IP rights in the UK

  • Continued entitlement of UK artists to the Artist’s Resale Right for works sold in the EU

  • The portability of online content services throughout the EU

  • Rights to broadcast throughout the EU on a single UK license


Other concerns include a loss of influence over EU IP legislation which will impact the UK, and increased pressure on enforcement bodies at borders, which could lead to an increase in the import of unsafe counterfeit goods to the UK. It also repeats the call made by the Alliance’s ‘Trading Places’ report for any new trade deals made with third countries post-Brexit not only protect UK IP laws, but also seek to raise standards in the jurisdictions in which the UK negotiates.

Director General Eddy Leviten added:

“A successful Brexit deal with the proposed implementation period would delay these ‘cliff-edges’ to 2021. However industry has been clear again and again that continued uncertainty will affect investment decisions long before then. Indeed in many Alliance member sectors it is affecting investment decisions now.

The Alliance has already published an ambitious report on trade prospects and IP exports, and we will soon be detailing how fantastic domestic opportunities mean the UK’s IP-rich industries could not only flourish in a post-Brexit environment, but take on a unique and central role in delivering a domestically and internationally successful future for the UK.

In the meantime however, we hope to work with Government on how best these ‘cliff-edge’ risks to our industries can be avoided.”



About the Alliance
Established in 1998, the Alliance for Intellectual Property is a UK-based coalition of 20 organisations with an interest in ensuring intellectual property rights receive the protection they need and deserve. Our members include representatives of the audio visual, toy, music, games, business software, sports, brands, publishing, photography, retailing and design industries. The Alliance’s overriding objective is to ensure that intellectual property (‘IP’) rights are valued and that a robust, efficient legislative and regulatory regime exists, which enables these rights to be properly protected.

The Alliance is also proactive in supporting the promotion of IP through educational and consumer awareness initiatives and encouraging the development of IP training for businesses and individuals seeking to develop, produce and trade goods, services and content.

Alliance Members
Anti-Copying in Design, Anti-Counterfeiting Group, Association of Authors’ Agents, British Association of Picture Libraries and Agencies, British Association for Screen Entertainment, British Brands Group, BPI, British Toy and Hobby Association, Design and Artists Copyright Society, Educational Recording Agency, Entertainment Retailers Association, Film Distributors Association, Motion Picture Association, Premier League, Professional Publishers Association, Publishers Association, Publishers Licensing Society, UK Cinema Association, UK Interactive Entertainment.

Contact details
For further information, clarification or to arrange a meeting please contact Eddy Leviten or Robert Magowan at, or on 020 7803 1319.

Alliance for Intellectual Property Director General, Eddy Leviten
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