Brexit and European Patents

July 7, 2016

On 23 June 2016 the United Kingdom voted in a referendum to leave the European Union. As the UK is a member state of the European Patent Organization, a relevant question is whether or not a European Patent will continue to allow for protection in the UK.


In the short term, nothing will change because the actual exit date will not be for a couple of years.  Even after the formal exit, it is unlikely that there be any change given the the UK is very likely to remain a signatory of the European Patent Convention.  Thus, it is very likely that the present situation will continue well into the future allowing a patent application obtain protection through the European Patent Office.


A more immediate change may be seen on the patent enforcement side.  As some readers may be aware, negotiations are underway to establish a Unified Patent, and a  Unified Patent Court to facilitate infringement proceedings across multiple European countries.  These negotiations have been on foot for many years, and were looking to be finalized early in 2017.   However, in the light of the UK's exit from the European Union  it could be expected that implementation will be yet further delayed.


Churchill Attorneys maintains close contact with a network of European attorney firms and will be kept apprised of any imminent changes to the situation.



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