• Brexit’s Effect on Intellectual Property
  • August 5, 2016 | Author: Bradley J. Van Pelt
  • Law Firm: Banner & Witcoff, Ltd. - Chicago Office
  • The United Kingdom’s vote to leave the European Union (EU) (Brexit) will undoubtedly impact intellectual property rights in Europe. Currently, the referendum is not legally binding and has no legal force until Parliament votes to repeal the 1972 European Communities Act. Only then can the U.K. depart the EU. If the U.K. exits the EU, four key takeaways with respect to European intellectual property rights to bear in mind are: (1) patentees will still be able to obtain U.K. patent rights through the European Patent Office (EPO); (2) European patent litigation will essentially stay the same; (3) EU trademarks and designs will not cover the U.K.; and (4) the fate of unitary patents covering all of Europe is uncertain and will be less desirable.