Brexit no issue for Dehns
On 23 June 2016 the British electorate will vote on whether to stay within, or leave, the EU.
Whilst current polls tend to suggest that the electorate will not vote to leave the EU, we are prepared for this possibility and will ensure, regardless of the outcome, that we continue to offer our clients the full range of services we currently offer.
All our qualified patent professionals are European Patent Attorneys. The European Patent Office (EPO) was set up by the European Patent Convention (EPC). Both EU and non-EU countries (such as Norway and Switzerland) are members of the EPC. Even if the UK were to leave the EU we would remain a member of the EPC and therefore our ability to act for our clients on all patent matters before the EPO would be unaffected regardless of the outcome of the vote. We will therefore continue to be able to represent our clients before the World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO), the EPO and the UK Intellectual Property Office (UKIPO).
The Unitary Patent/Unified Patent Court is expected to come into effect in 2017. The regulations confirm that European Patent Attorneys have representation rights before that Court. This is regardless of whether or not the UK is an EU member. We will therefore be able to act for our clients in both pre-grant and post-grant actions in relation to Unitary patents.
We will also be able to continue to act for our clients on all trade mark and design matters regardless of the outcome of the vote. This includes obtaining registered Community Trade Marks (to be renamed as European Union Trade Marks (EUTMs) as of 23 March 2016), and Registered Community Designs, which are effective in all EU member states, before the Office for Harmonization in the Internal Market (OHIM). Whilst OHIM (or the ‘EUIPO’ as it will become after 23 March 2016) requires representatives to have an EU base, we are well placed to comply with this requirement through our Munich Office. We will therefore continue to be able to act for our clients to obtain and defend Community Trade Marks and Registered Community Designs as well as national trade marks and designs.
Whilst we will continue to monitor the situation, we are confident that whatever the outcome of the vote, we will continue to be able to offer our clients the full range of high quality services we currently offer.
If you have any questions on any specific matters relating to the above, please contact us for more information.