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Written April 1, 2019

The UK is due to leave the European Union – an economic and political partnership of 28 countries – ending 46 years of British membership. But the exact timing remains unclear.

Brexit had been scheduled for March 29, but differences within the UK Parliament over how to guarantee an open Irish border and the terms of future trade with the remaining 27 countries has forced Prime Minister Theresa May to request more time. The EU has now agreed to a short delay.

Both the UK Parliament and the EU want to agree a deal. But without a political consensus in the UK, a no deal Brexit remains a real possibility.

Deal or no-deal - what are the consequences for the patent system?

While the economic impact of Brexit is expected to be significant, the European patent system will remain unaffected because the European patent office – via which patent rights across Europe can be obtained – is not an EU institution.

But some things in the world of patents will be affected. Supplementary protection certificates for pharmaceutical and plant protection products are governed by EU Regulation. And no deal is expected to make UK involvement in the proposed Unified Patent Court system for Europe difficult to achieve.

The UK’s Chartered Institute of Patent Attorneys (CIPA) and the Chartered Institute of Trade Mark Attorneys (CITMA) will bring clarity to these and other pressing IP issues in a series of US Roadshows next month. They will bring senior US and UK judges, USPTO and UKIPO officials and leading UK and US attorneys and IP litigators to Washington on April 22, Boston on April 23 and Palo Alto on April 25.

Book your place on the event's website here.

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