Announcement: Brexit – No bearing on European Patent Convention (EPC)

It ought to be “no news” rather than News by now.  But it’s good to see a Brexit announcement from an official horses mouth.

The key takeaways from this announcement (and previous information from various sources) are:

  1. A European patent application, filed before or after Brexit, can contain a designation of the UK
  2. A PCT application filed before or after Brexit, insofar as it designates EPC, constitutes a European patent application designating the UK
  3. This applies regardless of when the EPC phase is lawfully entered
  4. A European patent issued, at any time, on such an application as mentioned in Paragraph 1 or 2 lawfully designates UK, as long as that designation is not withdrawn, and the patent is  enforceable against infringements to the same extent as a UK patent granted under national legislation
  5. UK patent attorneys registered to practice before the EPO as European Patent Attorneys prior to the UK’s exit from the EU have the same EPC representation rights/obligations following EU exit
  6. A UK patent attorney who has achieved a pass in the European Patent Attorney qualifying examinations before or after the UK’s exit from the EU, and is first registered after EU exit to practice before the EPO as a European Patent Attorney, will have the same representation rights/obligations as mentioned in Paragraph 5 from the date of their registration.

In short, there’s nothing new.

It’s all very simple really:  Brexit will take the UK out of the EU – but the European Patent Convention is not EU legislation, the EPO is not an EU organ and the EPO exercises an entirely non-EU jurisdiction.

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