European patents unaffected by Brexit

The Chartered Institute of Patent Attorneys has called for calm following the referendum vote to leave the EU and points out that it will be business as usual for at least two years during which time it will work with Government for the best outcome for intellectual property rights holders.  

The decision to leave the EU will not affect European patent holders or restrict the ability of UK patent attorneys to carry out European patent work.

The UK’s membership of the European patent system is independent of membership of the EU, as is the UK’s membership of the World International Property Organisation.

Therefore UK patent attorneys can still prosecute European patent applications for all UK and overseas clients. European patent applicants will not lose any rights and patents already obtained via the European patent office are unaffected.

UK patent attorneys can still prosecute Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT) patent applications – which provide protection in the applicant’s chosen countries - for all UK and overseas clients. PCT patent applicants will not lose any rights.

CIPA President Tony Rollins called for calm as there would be business as usual for at least two years.

 "The UK will not immediately cease to be a member of the EU," he said. "The terms of the UK’s exit will need to be negotiated and some estimates suggest that this could take up to two years, if not longer.

"For now UK patent attorneys and registered trade mark attorneys will still be able to perform the same work they do now, and UK and overseas IP owners will not lose any IP rights or any access to EU IP registration systems.”

 After the transitional period of at least two years, UK patent attorneys and registered trade mark attorneys will no longer be able to file EU trade mark or registered design applications. CIPA will work with Government and other partners to ensure that new arrangements are as favourable as possible to the UK.