The UK’s Intellectual Property Office has published a statement on the future of IP law after the Brexit vote of 23 June 2016, saying there will be ‘no immediate changes’ regarding the Unitary Patent system.

In its document ‘IP and BREXIT: The facts‘, the UK IPO writes: ‘there has been much speculation on the future of many intellectual property laws following the recent Referendum outcome. This guide looks to offer factual information on the future of many international IP agreements that UK rights holders and business can make use of.’

The paragraphs referring to patents set out: ‘The referendum result has no impact on UK businesses’ ability to apply to the European Patent Office for patent protection.

It will remain possible to obtain patents from the EPO which apply in the UK. Existing European patents covering the UK are also unaffected. British exit from the EU will not affect the current European patent system as governed by the European Patent Convention (EPC).

UK flagThe UK remains a Contracting Member State of the Unified Patent Court at present. We will continue to attend and participate in UPC meetings in that capacity. There will be no immediate changes.’

The last phrase could be seen as an indication that UK ratification of the UPC agreement, which is needed in order for the Unitary Patent system to start functioning, is not very likely any time soon.

However, this is speculation, not factual information.

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