The misapprehension about what Brexit means for patents

The misapprehension about what Brexit means for patents

We have discovered that a number of our patent attorney friends around the world are under a misapprehension about what Brexit means for patents.  This is how their conversations with us typically go:
 
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 https://www.epo.org/news-issues/news/2016/20160624.html
 
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?

 
Yes.  
 
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

Related News

news

Coronavirus - UK IPO, EPO and EU IPO extensions and support

A simple overview of the current status from IPOs. Last updated 31st March 2020. 

UPDATE - UK IPO support for those affected by Coronavirus
news

UPDATE - UK IPO support for those affected by Coronavirus

The UKIPO has now certified that a ‘period of interruption’ began on Tuesday 24 March 2020.

BREAKING NEWS - German Federal Constitutional Court decides on UPC complaint
news

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
news

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.

EUIPO extends all deadlines for Community Design and European Union Trade Marks
news

EUIPO extends all deadlines for Community Design and European Union Trade Marks

The Executive Director of the EUIPO has today (16 March 2020) issued a decision regarding extensions for all time limits on trade mark and design matters at the EUIPO. In accordance with the decision, all time limits expiring between 9 March 2020 and 30 April 2020 inclusive are extended until 1 May 2020.

news

UK IPO announces support for those affected by coronavirus

In brief, the UK IPO has indicated that it will use its discretionary powers (on a case-by-case basis) to extend time limits where possible under national and international law.

*Update* “EPO Board of Appeal finds Broad Institute’s CRISPR patent to lack valid priority claim and upholds revocation of patent (T 0844/18)”
news

*Update* “EPO Board of Appeal finds Broad Institute’s CRISPR patent to lack valid priority claim and upholds revocation of patent (T 0844/18)”

Earlier this year, we reported on the EPO Board of Appeal’s decision to uphold the revocation of the Broad Institute’s CRISPR patent (here). Now it appears that the Broad Institute is gearing up to put forward a petition for review by the Enlarged Board of Appeal as a last resort to save their patent.

news

The UPC is dead, long live the UPC!

European patent attorneys have been getting excited about the Unitary Patent (UP) and Unified Patent Court (UPC) for years, writing articles, and giving talks and presentations about the ins-and-outs and twists-and-turns of the whole thing. So what is the current situation? What has happened now?

aipex logo aipex logo aipex logo