Although much has been written about Brexit, the truth is that the final outcome will not be known for several years to come

It is important to note that the triggering of Article 50 does not affect Mathys & Squire’s ability to represent its clients in the UK or in Europe. 


As widely publicized, the process of negotiating exit from the EU will only commence once the UK Government formally notifies the European Council of its intention to leave the EU under Article 50 of the Treaty on European Union. The actual negotiations will likely take two years or more.

Many matters, IP-related or not, will therefore remain uncertain for some time to come. However, the European Patent System is NOT affected by Brexit. The UK is and will remain a member of the European Patent Convention (EPC). The EPC is unrelated to the EU. Accordingly UK nationals and UK entities will still be able to obtain European Patents covering the 38 EPC member states*. Also, UK-national European Patent Attorneys will still be able to act before the EPO after Brexit, as will of course European Patent Attorneys of other nationalities.

The position for EU-derived rights such as Registered Community Designs (RCDs), European Union Trade Marks (EUTMs) and Community Plant Variety Rights (CPVRs) is less certain. It is however anticipated, as discussed below, that after Brexit, the UK Government will allow the owner of an existing RCD, EUTM or PVR to convert the UK element into a UK national Registration. Once we leave the EU, separate UK national and EU applications are likely to be required.

Mathys & Squire is proud to employ people of different nationalities, with many coming from countries within the EU. We have already taken steps ensuring that the firm has a location inside the “post-Brexit EU” (i.e. without the UK). This positions us to be able to continue to handle EUTMS and RCDs, even after Brexit.

We shall of course update this note when we have further news regarding the IP implications of Brexit. In the meantime, if you have any questions, then please contact your usual Mathys & Squire adviser.

*Plus two extension and two validation states.

英国退欧对知识产权的影响        イギリスのEU離脱が知的財産権に及ぼす影響