On 24 September 2018 the UK government published notes setting out its plans for intellectual property if there is no agreement with the European Union when the United Kingdom leaves on 29 March 2019 (please see our report here).
Patent protection for the UK is obtained either directly through the UK Intellectual Property Office, or through the European Patent Office, which is not an EU institution. Therefore, EU law has limited relevance to patents. The patent note covers issues where EU law is relevant.
The note confirms that, as expected:
- There will be no change to the regime for Supplementary Protection Certificates, which extend patent lifetimes for pharmaceuticals and agrochemicals
- EU law on patentability of biotechnological inventions will remain in force in the UK
- If the Unitary Patent Package has come into force, the UK will seek to negotiate to stay in this system.
If you would like our advice on any of these topics, please contact us.
It remains the overwhelming likelihood that the United Kingdom will leave the European Union with an agreement.