Bloomberg BNA’s Patent Trademark & Copyright Law Daily™is the IP industry’s premier news service, offering objective, timely,and reliable daily news coverage and commentary from leading IP law...
By Peter Leung
Aug. 16 — A U.K. body that regulates and represents patent attorneys said on Aug. 16 that it wants the country to participate in the European Union's planned Unified Patent Court and unitary patent system, even after Brexit.
The statement by the Chartered Institute of Patent Attorneys reflects strong support for the UPC and unitary patent among patent attorneys, but it also touches on the fact that it may be quite difficult for the U.K. to be in the UPC but out of the EU.
The professional organization said in a position paper that participation in the unified patent system—which would create a single patent right and patent court which would cover most of the EU—would be favorable to U.K. businesses.
The system will take effect once the founding agreement has been ratified by 13 countries. Furthermore, the UPC agreement says that the U.K. must be one of those countries.
On the other hand, the agreement does not allow for non-EU countries to take part. The Brexit vote has now created a question of whether the U.K. will ratify the agreement or even if it can even participate after it finalizes its exit from the EU (123 PTD, 6/27/16).
The paper appears to acknowledge this apparent paradox, noting that there would have to be a “solid legal basis” for the U.K.'s participation and it will have to be agreed upon.
The paper also summarizes the anticipated effect of the Brexit on other areas of intellectual property law.
It noted that many areas, such as the existing European Patent and practice before the European Patent Office will not change for U.K. companies and patent attorneys. This is because that system is open to non-EU countries, so the Brexit will not change the U.K.'s status in this regard.
There should also be little to no changes in areas such as trade secrets, because, according to the organization, U.K. law already exceeds the minimum standards required by the EU Trade Secrets Directive.
Other areas are less clear. For example, supplemental protection certificates, which extend the patent protection term for drugs that require regulatory approval before entering the market, are currently based on the first market approval granted in the European Economic Area.
This may have to change depending on the terms of the U.K.'s exit from the EU, but the paper suggests that the required changes may even result in a system that will be more favorable to patent owners.
The law relating to parallel imports may also change, the paper said. Parallel imports are genuine products purchased in one market and imported into another for sale without the trademark or patent owner's permission.
Like for many other issues, it said that any changes will depend largely on the still undefined relationship between the EU and the post-Brexit U.K.
To contact the reporter on this story: Peter Leung in Washington at firstname.lastname@example.org
To contact the editor responsible for this story: Mike Wilczek at email@example.com
Text available at http://src.bna.com/hNc.
Copyright © 2016 The Bureau of National Affairs, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
All Bloomberg BNA treatises are available on standing order, which ensures you will always receive the most current edition of the book or supplement of the title you have ordered from Bloomberg BNA’s book division. As soon as a new supplement or edition is published (usually annually) for a title you’ve previously purchased and requested to be placed on standing order, we’ll ship it to you to review for 30 days without any obligation. During this period, you can either (a) honor the invoice and receive a 5% discount (in addition to any other discounts you may qualify for) off the then-current price of the update, plus shipping and handling or (b) return the book(s), in which case, your invoice will be cancelled upon receipt of the book(s). Call us for a prepaid UPS label for your return. It’s as simple and easy as that. Most importantly, standing orders mean you will never have to worry about the timeliness of the information you’re relying on. And, you may discontinue standing orders at any time by contacting us at 1.800.960.1220 or by sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Put me on standing order at a 5% discount off list price of all future updates, in addition to any other discounts I may quality for. (Returnable within 30 days.)
Notify me when updates are available (No standing order will be created).
This Bloomberg BNA report is available on standing order, which ensures you will all receive the latest edition. This report is updated annually and we will send you the latest edition once it has been published. By signing up for standing order you will never have to worry about the timeliness of the information you need. And, you may discontinue standing orders at any time by contacting us at 1.800.372.1033, option 5, or by sending us an email to email@example.com.
Put me on standing order
Notify me when new releases are available (no standing order will be created)