Remaining in the EU will guarantee the UK continuing to have access to EU-wide Intellectual Property systems such as the EU trade mark and design rights and, vitally, the new Unitary Patent (UP) and Unified Patent Court (UPC). It will preserve the UK’s status as an influential contributor to these important international frameworks.
The UP and UPC, set to begin operating within the next 24 months, will provide pan-EU patent protection and enforcement. Involvement in these systems, and the establishment of one of the key UPC divisions in London, will bring valuable opportunities to UK businesses, the professionals who support them and our economy as a whole.
The Chartered Institute of Patent Attorneys (CIPA) believes that:
• A Brexit could compromise the UK’s access to, participation in and influence over the world’s IP systems. This would not be good for either UK or international IP, or for the role of the UK’s IP attorneys and IP users within the global IP system,
• Since the IP system supports and incentivises research, development and innovation in the UK, remaining in the EU should better benefit such activities and in turn their contribution to the UK economy,
• A Brexit is likely to have a detrimental effect on the current businesses of CIPA members and other IP professionals, and on their competitiveness, in particular in the European market,
• Since these businesses include significant service exports, their success also affects the UK’s export economy.
A Brexit would bring uncertainty and upheaval to the UK’s IP framework, a framework which is currently stable and well-functioning, global-facing and widely respected. IP rights are valuable commercial tools, their exploitation key to many business strategies and international trading arrangements. IP also incentivises innovation and helps its products to flourish. CIPA urges the UK not to overlook, or indeed underestimate, the impact of the 23 June referendum on IP.
The Chartered Institute of Patent Attorneys (CIPA) is the professional body which represents all the UK's Chartered Patent Attorneys and many other affiliated IP practitioners. Its members include over 2,000 Chartered Patent Attorneys, of whom most are also European Patent Attorneys.