Will Brexit harm UK patent law?

Patent lawyers from England and Wales are to visit the US this spring for a series of roadshows, aimed and sending across the message that their work will be unaffected by Brexit.  The roadshows will take place in Washington DC, Boston and San Francisco with the new president of the Chartered Institute of Patent Attorneys (CIPA) Julia Florence taking part.

Florence, a former patent lawyer at pharmaceutical giant GSK, said:

‘We know that, following Brexit, the government is keen to negotiate trade deals outside the EU and we need our voice to be heard in relation to the intellectual property aspects of such agreements.”

“Our key message to our US colleagues, for whom we conduct much European work, will be that, because the European Patent Office is not an EU institution, our work for them in Europe can continue unaffected.”

Other notable figures who are set to attend are the Members of the Chartered Institute of Trade Mark Attorneys, the UK Intellectual Property Office (IPO) and His Honour Judge Colin Birss. Leading IP law firm Bird & Bird are set to also host a panel session at the event in San Francisco.

Florence added:

“In these uncertain and challenging times it is important to keep our eyes on the Brexit ball, and its aftermath, and to promote the UK’s IP services to our key markets once we have more clarity.”

“We will also be giving updates on other aspects of IP and will promote the UK as a hub for intellectual property services and dispute resolution.”.

The future of the Unified Patent Court (UPC) equally remains uncertain. This is an international court open to EU member states aimed at resolving disputes over unified patents. The UK is one of three countries who must ratify the proposals for the court to come into force. However, the UK has given assurances that it will remain part of the system, regardless of the Brexit outcome.

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