Does the UK leaving the EU also mean leaving the European patent system?
No. The European patent system is not affected by Brexit. European patents are granted by the European Patent Office (EPO) under the terms of the European Patent Convention (EPC). The EPC is not EU legislation and the EPO is not an EU institution. The UK will continue to remain a signatory to the EPC after Brexit, just as now.
OK. So, will UK-based European patent attorneys lose any right of representation before the EPO?
No. European patent attorneys based in the UK will be able to represent clients in all work before the EPO after the UK leaves the EU, just as now.
But haven’t some IP firms based in mainland Europe been saying otherwise?
They shouldn’t be. Here’s what the President of the EPO said about this a week after the Brexit vote
So, Wynne-Jones will file and prosecute UK, European and PCT patent applications, and manage worldwide patent protection, in just the same way after Brexit as it does now?
But will your European reach be limited?
Actually, quite the opposite. Through AIPEX, (our European IP law firm), we are increasingly acting as regional counsel for clients who want patent representation throughout Europe. AIPEX has offices in Germany, France, Netherlands, Hungary, Italy, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Spain and Switzerland (as well as UK), so we already offer a unified and seamless IP service to international and European businesses, and this will continue after Brexit.
Intellectual property: Why you should choose the UK
Watch CIPA's (the UK's membership body for patent attorneys) informative video here.
Patent Emergency! What to do when you’ve (accidentally) disclosed your invention before you’ve filed a patent application
One of the cornerstones of the patent system in many countries, including the UK, is the need to apply for a patent before disclosing your invention publicly. This is because such ‘self-disclosure’ can be used to invalidate a subsequently filed patent application. That’s a horrible situation, because you may have really shot yourself in the foot in terms of getting patent protection in the UK and in many other countries. Therefore, we firmly advise that you keep the invention secret before filing a patent application on the invention.
IP expert praises one million women in STEM roles to mark International Day of Women and Girls in Science
A leading intellectual property expert has said it is “incredibly encouraging” to see almost one million women in STEM roles for the first time, but called for continued action to support this upwards trend.
Small Irish business wins ’David and Goliath’ trade mark case against McDonalds
An Irish fast-food company has claimed a famous victory over one of the biggest brands in the world. Supermac, a beloved restaurant chain throughout Ireland and Northern Ireland, has successfully challenged McDonalds over its trade mark for ‘Big Mac’ in the European Union.
EPO Board of Appeal finds that plants *ARE* patentable at the EPO - Rule 28(2) EPC is unenforceable
We have previously reported on the introduction of new Rule 28(2) EPC regarding the patentability of plants and animals obtained by “an essentially biological process”. As detailed in our November 2018 article, the first case to go to appeal was scheduled to take place on 5 December 2018. That hearing has now taken place and a decision has issued.
Mental health in intellectual property – breaking down barriers
Mental illness is frequently referred to as the ‘last taboo'.