Brexit vote - Statement in response

Tue, 09 Aug 2016


Following the UK voting to leave the EU in the EU referendum vote in June 2016 (commonly referred to as "BREXIT"), it is important to inform that it will be business as usual for at least two years, two years being the minimum period from initiating the EU exit process to concluding it. At the time of writing, the UK has not yet formally begun the EU exit process, but the UK government has indicated the EU exit process will be initiated before the end of March 2017.  


The decision to leave the EU will not affect European patent holders or restrict the ability of European patent attorneys to carry out European patent work. The UK’s membership of the European patent system is independent of its membership of the EU. European patent applicants will not lose any rights and patents already obtained via the European Patent Office will not be affected. European patent attorneys based in the UK will continue to be able to file and process European patent applications for European patent applicants.


The same applies to the UK’s membership of the World International Property Organisation. PCT patent applicants will not lose any rights. European patent attorneys can still prosecute PCT patent applications for all applicants.


After the EU exit process is completed, it is expected that UK based representatives before the EU IP Office will no longer be able to represent applicants for EU registered trademark applications or EU registered design applications. The UK government will work to ensure that new arrangements are as favourable as possible to the UK. EU registered trademark applications and EU registered design applications (and corresponding registrations) will almost certainly be convertible into UK applications and registrations, possibly on payment of a fee, but such details are yet to be determined.

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