Haseltine Lake IP services continuing as normal as Britain starts the formal process to leave the EU

06 April 2017

Following Britain’s decision by referendum in June 2016 to leave the European Union (EU) the British Government has now formally notified the European Council in accordance with Article 50(2) of the Treaty on European Union of the UK’s intention to withdraw from the EU. This formal step enables the detailed political process of negotiating the disengagement to begin.

  • The precise terms and nature of Britain’s exit from the EU will be negotiated and agreed over a period of up to 2 years. In the interim Britain remains a fully participating member of the EU.
  • Haseltine Lake is a pan-European firm with offices in Munich and The Hague and qualified European Patent Attorneys operating in all its locations, including the UK. Britain’s new status outside the EU will not change our firm-wide focus on the protection of European IP rights.
  • When the UK eventually leaves the EU it will remain part of the European Patent Convention and therefore fully part of the current system of patents granted by the European Patent Office (EPO). There are already a number of non-EU countries, such as Switzerland and Norway which participate fully in the European Patent system and Britain will become another such country.
  • In particular Haseltine Lake will continue to provide full services for:
    • European Patents
    • EU Trade Marks and Designs
    • National filings for Patents, Trade Marks and Designs in the UK, Germany, Netherlands and Belgium
    • The new Unitary Patent (which is expected to be introduced at the end of 2017)
  • When the UP Patent is introduced it will still be founded on the current EPO system. Prosecution of a patent will proceed as presently and after grant there will be the option to designate the UK (and other countries that are not participating in the UP system) at the same time as electing for a UP designation for those countries that are within the UP system.

It will be some time before we can expect full clarity in relation to how Brexit may impact IP issues in Britain and Europe. You can be assured however that at Haseltine Lake we will continue to provide our full range of IP services and to support our clients’ IP rights in the UK, Europe and around the world. As the Brexit negotiations progress, we will continue to monitor the position and to provide you with information and advice to help you to understand the impact on your IP rights and to prepare accordingly.

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Our Expert
Lesley Evans
Lesley Evans
Locations: Bristol (UK)

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