Home > Insights > Considering the implications of a Brexit for UK and European Patent Attorneys
11 March, 2016

A referendum will be held on 23 June 2016 to determine whether the United Kingdom (UK) will remain a member of the European Union (EU).

The UK Government is proceeding on the basis that the UK will remain in the EU. The UKIPO is pursuing a timetable for ratification of the Unified Patent Court (UPC) Agreement by mid-2016. The statutory instrument needed to implement the UPC Agreement has already been approved by both Houses of Parliament and the London branch of the UPC is expected to open its doors in early 2017.

Even in the event that the electorate choose to leave the EU the UK will remain a member of the European Patent Convention (1). Boult Wade Tennant will therefore continue to be in a prime position to provide cutting edge patent services:

  1. As European Patent Attorneys we will continue to be able to represent our clients before the European Patent Office (EPO), including drafting, filing and prosecution of patent applications leading to a Unitary Patent (UP) and in post-grant opposition proceedings covering a UP.
  2. As European Patent Attorneys with an appropriate litigation qualification we will also be able to represent our clients in the various branches of the UPC (2).
  3. As UK Chartered Patent Attorneys we will also provide our full range of services in relation to patents and applications pursued before the UKIPO and litigated before the UK National Courts.

We will continue to report on developments in relation to the Unitary Patent and Unified Patent Court and look forward to advising our clients in relation to European and UK patent matters, including Unitary Patents, irrespective of the outcome of the EU referendum.


(1) Membership of the European Patent Convention is not restricted to EU member states.
(2) Article 48(2) of the UPC Agreement.