In a referendum held on 23rd June 2016, the UK voted to leave the European Union
Since then, the UK and EU have been negotiating the terms of the UK’s exit. Until the UK leaves the EU, the UK remains a full member thereof and there will be no changes to current IP law.
The latest position is as follows:
The first proposed UK-EU Brexit agreement was rejected by the UK Parliament on 15th January 2019. A second vote on a revised agreement took place on 12th March 2019. The UK Parliament voted to reject the deal put forward by the Prime Minister. On 13th March 2019, the UK Parliament voted to reject a no-deal Brexit under any circumstances.
The EU has granted the UK a six-month extension to Brexit. The extension means that the UK will currently now leave the EU no later than the 31st October, averting the possibility of the UK leaving the EU on Friday 12th April with no deal in place.
The European Patent Office (EPO) is not an EU institution, so Brexit will have no effect on the current patent system. Regardless of whether there is a deal or not, post-Brexit, patent applications filed by Carpmaels & Ransford at the EPO will still cover the UK (via conventional national validation), and they will be litigated in the UK national courts as usual. The European Patent Convention will continue to be part of UK law, and our European patent attorneys will continue to act in the usual way in all matters before the EPO.
As a European IP firm, we are set up to continue to represent our clients in all of their European IP matters regardless of the outcome of Brexit. You will continue to receive the high levels of service and client care which you have come to expect.
We summarise briefly below possible outcomes for some important aspects of IP. We shall of course provide further updates as the situation develops. In the meantime, if you would like additional information, please get in touch with your usual contact at Carpmaels & Ransford.