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Brexit Threatens European Patent Court

Das Europäische Patentamt in München (Bayern), aufgenommen am 30.11.2012. Foto: Andreas Gebert/dpa [ Rechtehinweis: (c) dpa ]
The European Patent Office in Munich.
  • Why it matters

    Why it matters

    Plans to simplify the European patent system may be disrupted by the U.K. leaving the European Union.

  • Facts


    • The European Patent Office grants patents in the Europe Union but at present, these have to be validated in the separate countries.
    • In 2017, a unified patent system and unified patent court were to simplify the process of applying for patents and resolving disputes.
    • The new European patent court is supposed to be located in London.
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Long in the planning, a new unified patent for all European Union countries may be derailed by Brexit and along with it, a European patent court, slated to be located in London.

“It’s totally open, what the British referendum means for the European patent court,” Elisabeth Winkelmeier, the legal spokesperson for the parliamentary grouping of the governing Christian Democratic party, told Handelsblatt. “If the United Kingdom leaves the European Union, it would call the agreement about the patent court in its current form, as well as the London location, into question.”

Plans are underway for a unified patent court to cover all 28 countries in the European Union to hear cases regarding the infringement or revocation of patents in the European member states.

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