Does the UK leaving the EU also mean leaving the European patent system?
No. The European patent system is not affected by Brexit. European patents are granted by the European Patent Office (EPO) under the terms of the European Patent Convention (EPC). The EPC is not EU legislation and the EPO is not an EU institution. The UK will continue to remain a signatory to the EPC after Brexit, just as now.
OK. So, will UK-based European patent attorneys lose any right of representation before the EPO?
No. European patent attorneys based in the UK will be able to represent clients in all work before the EPO after the UK leaves the EU, just as now.
But haven’t some IP firms based in mainland Europe been saying otherwise?
They shouldn’t be. Here’s what the President of the EPO said about this a week after the Brexit vote
So, Wynne-Jones will file and prosecute UK, European and PCT patent applications, and manage worldwide patent protection, in just the same way after Brexit as it does now?
But will your European reach be limited?
Actually, quite the opposite. Through AIPEX, (our European IP law firm), we are increasingly acting as regional counsel for clients who want patent representation throughout Europe. AIPEX has offices in Germany, France, Netherlands, Hungary, Italy, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Spain and Switzerland (as well as UK), so we already offer a unified and seamless IP service to international and European businesses, and this will continue after Brexit.
Intellectual property: Why you should choose the UK
Watch CIPA's (the UK's membership body for patent attorneys) informative video here.
Coronavirus - UK IPO, EPO and EU IPO extensions and support
A simple overview of the current status from IPOs. Last updated 18th May 2020.
Is it unethical to patent?
The Covid-19 pandemic has prompted many companies to invest time and effort in developing technology that is aimed at helping care for, test, or treat people suffering from the disease. In normal times, these might be considered normal commercial activities and would be considered for patenting without a second thought. However, the fact that these developments are typically not being motivated by pure commercial gain, but by a desire to do something for the public good causes many companies to question whether or not they should seeks patents or any other form of intellectual property protection.
Morgan Motors Case Study
Morgan Motor Company originally thought their most important asset was their range of hand built sports cars, after working Wynne-Jones, they realised their most important asset was their brand.
UPDATE - UK IPO support for those affected by Coronavirus
Exceptional extensions of time limits at the EUIPO to end on 18 May 2020.
The Executive Director of the EUIPO has announced that the all time limits on trade mark and design matters at the EUIPO expiring between 9 March 2020 and 17 May 2020 will expire on 18 May 2020. The EUIPO is not extending these time limits further.
If you have any questions then please get in touch with your usual Wynne-Jones contact.
BREAKING NEWS - German Federal Constitutional Court decides on UPC complaint
The German Federal Constitutional Court has now issued its long-awaited decision (source) in case 2 BvR 739/17 which was a complaint against the German Ratification Law under which Germany was to ratify the UPC.
EPO announces extensions to deadlines due to COVID-19
On Sunday 15 March 2020 the EPO published a notice advising it is invoking the provisions of Rule 134(2) EPC, and has extended all periods expiring on or after publication of the notice to 17 April 2020. This may be extended by the EPO upon publication of a further notice.