What Brexit Might Mean For The Design Industry


What Brexit Might Mean For The Design Industry


With all the ongoing back and forth with the government on Brexit, no one knows who is coming or going or what is going to happen. However there have been a few agreements made if we do leave with a deal. Apart from the question surrounding what will happen to non UK citizens and workers, there are topics that have been discussed that affect our industry directly. These however are all subject to change but this is where we stand as of the point of writing this.

The main areas that could be affected are: IP & Protection, British Standards and Movement of Goods and Services.


IP & Protection

At the moment, if unregistered, designs rights on a design are automatically protected under both UK and EU law. In the UK the protection stands for 15 years whilst in the EU it is only 3 years but it does cover you in 27 countries. Once we leave the EU, this protection will disappear in December 2020 and will leave designs open to infringement in the EU. If a design has already been registered, the owner may need to complete some ‘minimal paperwork’ but should not experience any complication in maintaining their UK rights, however if they are in the process of applying during Dec 2020, you may need to re-apply.


British Standards

There is likely to be the introduction of new legislation and a new standards mark that may need to be present on relevant products or their packaging. The mark will be the UKCA mark and its role will be to “provide clarity to manufacturers placing products on the market in the UK post-Brexit”. The British Standards Institute (BSI) will continue being a member of the European Standards Organizations. BSI and CEN and CENELEC will be working together to ensure that any clauses that the UK will become exempt from, will be rejuvenated to reflect the new relationship between the UK and the EU.


Movement of Goods

With 9% of UK exports coming from the creative industry, there is a level of uncertainty about what will happen with regards to movement of goods and services. At the moment, there is to be free and unrestricted movement until 2020 when there may well be restrictions put in place but nothing has been confirmed. In a situation where we leave with no deal the government has issued an article stating that the UK government will ensure that all registered design will remain protected in the UK.


If we leave with no deal, toss a coin. Anything could happen.


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