Date: 24 June 2016
Following the result of yesterday's referendum, the UK government will begin the long and complicated process of extricating from the European Union and negotiating a new relationship with Europe.
It is too early to speculate whether that process may result in remaining a member of the European Economic Area (which includes non-EU countries like Norway and Iceland) or a more arms-length relationship.
As far as Jenkins is concerned, we are a pan-European firm with offices in Munich, Freiburg and Basel, as well as London and Farnham. We are well placed not only to continue as usual, but to advise clients around the world regarding IP rights within and outside the EU. The UK will remain a member state of the EPO, and our representatives will continue their world-class advocacy before that office. The UK will have to renegotiate its relationship with the EUIPO, but we will have no shortage of representatives in our London, Munich and Freiburg offices who will continue to be qualified to act before that office without the least change to our day-to-day practice.
It will be a disappointment if London no longer hosts a branch of the central division of the Unified Patent Court, but this will not detract from our ability to represent clients before the new court. As well as our strong litigation team in Germany, we have many EPAs in London (including French and German EPAs and British EPAs with law degrees) who will qualify before the new court. Moreover, there will be a correspondingly greater need for representation before the English courts, including the UK Intellectual Property Enterprise Court, before which we have particularly strong practice.
So, all in all, it will be business as usual, and we will be planning a roadshow in the autumn to our international clients to promote all the UK and European IP rights which we can pursue for them.
Should you have any concerns or points you wish to raise in relation to your own IP position, please do not hesitate to reach out to your usual Jenkins contact.