Brexit: IP owners still in the dark after High Court article 50 ruling

03.11.2016

The English High Court ruled today that parliament must vote on whether the UK can trigger article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty, but lawyers say intellectual property owners are still uncertain about the path ahead.
Richard Pinckney, partner at Bristows, explained that the judgment throws Prime Minister Theresa May’s “stated intention to use prerogative powers to invoke article 50 before the end of March 2017” into doubt.
He added that, subject to a review by the Supreme Court, which is expected before early 2017, this decision potentially delays the UK’s exit from the EU and may even throw it into doubt altogether.
“Before today’s decision, IP rights holders could proceed with some level of certainty that the UK would start the exit negotiation process in March 2017. However, there is now uncertainty surrounding what will happen and when,” he said.
Pinckney advised that it would be prudent for rights holders to continue to “evaluate and prepare for a post-Brexit landscape”. However, he added that rights owners may now have more time to do this and that work may “ultimately be entirely unnecessary”.
If the Supreme Court upholds the decision, Pinckney believes that there may be further delays to the UPC project. But this may “provide an opportunity for stakeholders to work together towards a solution which provides certainty, perhaps one which allows non-EU European Patent Convention signatories to participate”.
Read full article here.