Beam me out, Scottie? Barroso warns Scotland, but what does it mean for IP?

Freed from the shackles of EU's single
market and level playing field, Scotland
can indulge in some serious copyright
term extension for bagpipe music ...
So much speculation has attended the possible consequences of Greece possibly other countries leaving the Eurozone that another potential secession has gone almost unnoticed -- Scotland's independence from the United Kingdom.   In "European Commission: Separate Scotland forced to reapply for EU membership", the Telegraph's Scottish political editor Simon Johnson reports:
"Manuel Barroso, president of the European 's Commission, said that any new nation state will have to apply for membership under international law. This would mean a separate Scotland having to sign up to the euro and the Schengen Agreement, which permits free movement without passport checks, unless it can secure its own version of the UK’s opt-outs. His intervention came after Olivier Bailly, a senior spokesman for the EC, said that a country that leaves an existing member state would be treated as an “accession state” instead of inheriting EU membership. ... 
Mr Barroso has previously indicated a separate Scotland would not win automatic membership and this would have to be negotiated, but yesterday went further by explicitly stating it would have to reapply.  The EC President refused to speculate on whether Scotland will leave the UK, but told BBC Radio 4’s World at One programme: 
“To join the EU, yes, we have a procedure and it is a procedure in international law. ...There are two different steps – there is a secession process under international law and the request for accession to EU member state under EU treaties.  In the meantime, of course, this new (country) is not part of the EU since he has to make a request for accession.”....".
So far as the IPKat recalls, the Community Trade Mark Regulation, Community Design Regulation and Community Plant Varieties Regulation have no explicit provisions dealing with the consequences of accession, though it seems only right and proper to him that any private right, once granted, can be expected to remain in force or risk attracting the ire of the European Court of Human Rights as an expropriation or even extermination of an individual's property.  Greenland does not offer any immediate precedent, since that country left the European Union without actually severing its links with Denmark and it did so back in 1985, when there weren't any pan-European IP rights around.

Says Merpel, the IPKat's no great constitutional law expert, but perhaps some of his readers are. Do tell us what you think the IP consequences of Scotland leaving the UK and having to reapply to the EU might be.
Beam me out, Scottie? Barroso warns Scotland, but what does it mean for IP? Beam me out, Scottie? Barroso warns Scotland, but what does it mean for IP? Reviewed by Jeremy on Wednesday, September 12, 2012 Rating: 5


  1. Another way of looking at this is that the UK that joined the EU is not the UK that's left after Scotland leaves. Might that not mean (to the delight of all Eurosceptics) that both Scotland AND the what's left of the UK would have to reapply?

  2. Czechoslovakia was an original Member of the United Nations from 24 October 1945.
    In a letter dated 10 December 1992, its Permanent Representative informed the Secretary-General that the Czech and Slovak Federal Republic would cease to exist on 31 December 1992 and that the Czech Republic and the Slovak Republic, as successor States, would apply for membership in the United Nations.
    Following the receipt of their application, the Security Council, on 8 January 1993, recommended to the General Assembly that the Czech Republic and the Slovak Republic be both admitted to United Nations membership. Both the Czech Republic and the Slovak Republic were thus admitted on 19 January of that year as UN Member States.


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