Managing IP is part of the Delinian Group, Delinian Limited, 8 Bouverie Street, London, EC4Y 8AX, Registered in England & Wales, Company number 00954730
Copyright © Delinian Limited and its affiliated companies 2023

Accessibility | Terms of Use | Privacy Policy | Modern Slavery Statement

UK: Impact of Brexit on patents

The UK has voted to leave the European Union, but how does this affect patents? Patents can be obtained in the UK via two separate means, either directly from the UK intellectual Office (UKIPO) which is governed by the UK Patents Act, or from the European Patent Office. Both organisations are unaffected by the UK leaving the EU. The European Patent Office is not an EU organisation, and already has members who are not member states of the EU such as Turkey, Norway and Switzerland.

UK patents, regardless of the system by which they were obtained (via the UKIPO or the EPO) are enforceable at the UKIPO and the UK courts.

The UK’s potential exit from the EU does not change the current systems for obtaining patent protection in the UK, and the situation remains unchanged for patents granted by the UKIPO and European patents designating the UK. Patent applications pending before the UKIPO or the EPO will also continue as before.

Further, the enforcement of UK patents, regardless of the system under which they were obtained, will not be affected by Brexit.

European patent attorneys based in the UK will continue to represent applicants and patentees in all proceedings before the EPO and the UKIPO. This will continue once Brexit has actually taken place. So whether the UK is in, or out, of the EU will make very little difference to the present system of obtaining or enforcing patent protection in Europe.

European trade marks and designs may be affected as these are on offer only to countries which are member states of the EU, although it appears likely that a suitable extension agreement will be negotiated, so that these rights continue as before (perhaps similar to those extended to EEA member states).

European trade mark owners should consider keeping any UK national rights used in support of a seniority claim in force to ensure the best protection for the trade mark in the UK and may wish to consider filing national UK applications to guard against any eventuality.


Helga Chapman

Chapman + Co

18 Staple Gardens

Winchester SO23 8SR

United Kingdom

Tel: +44 1962 600 500

more from across site and ros bottom lb

More from across our site

Counsel from BMW and Finnegan explain how they got an NPE to sign a covenant agreeing not to sue the automaker ever again
The blue checkmark could be a good tool, but it’s unclear how widespread its adoption will be, say in-house sources
Sarah Harris, partner at Williams & Connolly, reveals how her team secured a copyright victory at SCOTUS and reflects on why the case matters
We provide a rundown of Managing IP’s news and analysis coverage from the week, and review what’s been happening elsewhere in IP
A Court of Appeal judge demanded respect for solicitor-judges after reprimanding a barrister for his 'unwise' words
Speeches at the UPC inauguration highlighted the gap between the unitary patent dream and the reality today
Sources with experience on both sides of the Atlantic believe hugely profitable US law firms may still take some convincing before agreeing to partner with a UK outfit
IP counsel urge the government to restrict safe harbour exceptions available to intermediaries and clear up doubts with the existing law
A New York lawyer could face sanctions after citing fake judgments generated by ChatGPT, but that doesn’t mean practitioners should shy away from AI
Klaus Grabinski told delegates at a UPC inauguration event that the proposed SEP regulation would limit access to justice