The effects of the UK’s decision to leave the EU are already being felt across the UK’s service industries.
But when it comes to patents in Europe, it is business as usual.
The European patent office – via which patent rights across Europe can be obtained – is not an EU institution.
So the UK’s 2,300 European qualified patent attorneys will be able to continue to represent their domestic and overseas clients there after Brexit.
In fact, since the result of the UK’s referendum on EU membership, there has been no let-up in the large number of European patent applications filed by British attorneys.
The resistance of the European patent system to the effects of Brexit is good news for both the UK, and for those around the world who want to use British legal expertise to protect their intellectual property in Europe.
It is positive for the UK because along with trade mark attorneys, the UK’s patent attorneys contribute more than £1bn to the British economy.
The majority of this comes from foreign companies choosing to use British representation.
In fact, of the 40,000 European patent applications filed each year by the UK’s European patent attorneys, nearly 90% are for clients from overseas.
This shows the high regard the rest of the world has for the UK legal sector.
It also means that, while UK chartered patent attorneys form a fifth of all European patent attorneys practising today, they file a third of all European patent applications.
So, while many aspects of UK and European law will be affected by the UK’s withdrawal from the EU, patent work will continue unchanged.
And UK patent attorneys will continue to represent domestic and overseas clients before the European Patent Office in exactly the same way as they do now.
Good news for Britain. Good news for businesses worldwide.