T. Johnson (GB), Editorial Committee

The result of the UK Referendum on EU membership is in, the great British public having voted ‘out’, in what has become known as Brexit. There will be many issues to resolve before the UK finally leaves the EU post- Brexit, and IP will certainly not be immune from them.

One thing is certain. The UK will remain a Member State of the EPC, no matter what is decided on the Brexit front. However, we have heard of rumours being put about that the UK, and hence our British members, will have no future in the EPC, which as our readers know is not an EU creation and so has nothing to do with Brexit. We feel it regrettable that terminological inexactitudes such as these rumours are put about and can, again regrettably, gain credence by repetition. We feel confident that our Institute will quash such inaccurate rumours, to the benefit of the membership as a whole.

Reverting to Brexit, negotiations regarding the future of the UP and UPC will however continue post-Brexit. It should be borne in mind that despite the Brexit vote, the UK is still a part of the EU, and will remain so until a final EU exit strategy is agreed with the other Member States. Such agreement may well not be reached until 2019-2020. With a fair wind and national resolve, the UPC for example could be ratified before the UK formally leaves the EU. Measures would need to be agreed between the EU member states and the UK government as to how the UK would deal with the (ratified) UPC after exiting the EU. Governments will decide, but if our proposition comes to pass, we would hope that such measures would be simple, transparent and proportional, to provide certainty for all users of the system going forward from say 2020.

In our view Brexit does not mean ‘put the brakes on’ the UP or UPC, rather ‘let’s move forward’. We wish the negotiators well!