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The UK’s decision to leave the European Union – Business as usual

24 June 2016

The people of the UK have voted to leave the European Union (EU). The referendum of 23 June 2016 concerning the UK’s membership of the EU has resulted in 52% of voters opting for the UK to leave the economic and political union established under the EU.

From an Intellectual Property user’s perspective nothing will change straightaway, since there is a minimum ‘notice period’ of two years for the UK to negotiate its departure from the EU, with those negotiations likely to take far longer in practice. Looking further ahead Withers & Rogers will remain well placed to provide a full range of IP services to its clients: our patent services will be unaffected since the UK’s membership of the European Patent Convention is not linked to EU membership. We will therefore be able to continue to file and prosecute patent applications at the European Patent Office. Moreover, we are already in the process of consolidating and growing our presence in Continental Europe via our Munich office, and we anticipate taking advantage of this to allow us to handle all future EU trade mark & design matters in much the same way as they are handled now.

The UK IP profession has a reputation for quality and trust that has been built up over a substantial period of time. That quality of service and advice will not change as a result of the referendum decision, and Withers & Rogers will remain one of the leading European Patent & Trade Mark firms providing this high quality service.

We therefore look forward to continuing to work with our existing and new clients in the future.

Karl Barnfather – former Chairman