The Prime Minister, David Cameron has announced that the EU Referendum will take place on 23 June 2016. The electorate will be asked to vote whether they wish to remain in a reformed EU or leave the EU.
If the results of the referendum are in favour of staying in the EU, the intellectual property laws will not change and the UK will continue to be part of the Unified Patent Court Agreement. Conversely, if the UK were to leave the EU, the Intellectual Property sector will be affected. Leaving the EU would mean that the UK would no longer be bound by EU legislation, and would be able to change its IP laws. However, the UK would still be bound by international treaties and because a substantial part of IP laws is internationally harmonised, it is improbable that there would be any change in national IP legislation. Additionally, the EU would continue to have an indirect impact on our economy but the UK would have less influence.
We discuss the consequences of the UK leaving the EU based on the current laws and international treaties. These changes are likely to be implemented within the transitional period. If a decision is made to leave, there are likely to be negotiations which may alter the consequences we discuss below.
This document is intended for information purposes only and does not support any view on whether we should stay in or leave the EU.
Read an analysis of the possible implications of leaving the EU on the intellectual property system.