UK IPO’s update on Brexit:

The UK’s Intellectual Property Office (IPO), the official government body responsible for intellectual property  rights, published a note entitled “IP and Brexit: The Facts” which intends to clarify  “the future of (UK) intellectual property laws following the recent Referendum decision“.

It succinctly highlights the different international IP agreements that UK right holders and businesses can make use of for trademarks, copyrights, patents, designs and enforcement. It also invites IP users to share their views on how to address some of the issues created by the Brexit such as the right of UK IP professionals to represent clients before the EU Intellectual Property Office, or the protection of designs in the UK.

Regarding patents, the IPO is keen to emphasise that “British exit from the EU will not affect the current European patent system as governed by the European Patent Convention” and that “the referendum result has no impact on UK businesses’ ability to apply to the European Patent Office for patent protection“. By contrast, the question of the UPC is addressed only very briefly in a paragraph which  stresses the UK’s continuing participation in the UPC in its capacity as Contracting Member State. However, although it specifically mentions that the UK will continue “to attend and participate in UPC meetings ” the IPO gives no indication as to the possible scenarios  which could allow the UK to take part in the UPC once it leaves the EU…