What does Brexit mean to your IP in Europe?

Ulla Klinge reports.

The short answer is there is no immediate impact.

Following the referendum result the British Parliament will now consider how and when to proceed. The UK’s exit from the EU will be negotiated over at least the next two years, and during that time the UK will remain a member of the EU. EU legislation will therefore remain in effect for the UK and no changes to any existing IP legislation are expected.

For European patents filed via the EPO there will be no changes or consequences. The UK will remain a Contracting State of the European Patent Convention also after the UK has left the EU, so the UK will still be covered by a European patent also in the future. So BREXIT should not impact how to obtain patent protection in the UK.

However, UK’s exit from the EU may impact the coming into force of the long-awaited Unitary Patent system and the Unified Patent Court (UPC) and it is likely that the implementation will be delayed.