Brexit, talk about intellectual property


Author: Intellectual Property Department


Release time:2016-07-14

A few days ago, the results of the referendum on Britain's departure from the European Union were released, with 51.9 percentBritish voters support Brexit, which means that the British government must formally explain Britain's intention to leave the EU and start negotiations for Britain to leave the EU. Although there is still a period of consultation and negotiation for at least two years, the UK's move has had an impact on itself, the EU, developing countries and some international organizations.. To this end, this paper analyzes the impact of Brexit on the field of intellectual property from different angles.Britain and the European UnionwithJun don't who short long

Since the Brexit referendum at the end of June, even if the "little partners" of the European Union were shocked, they could only sigh that "it's going to rain and the mother is going to marry". Although the referendum does not mean that Britain can say goodbye to the EU after turning around, and there may be more stories in the buffer period of more than two years, the Brexit referendum is likely to trigger a domino effect within the EU. it has an immeasurable impact on both sides.

What impact will Brexit have on the intellectual property rights of both sides? John L. Hem-er, a partner at Morgan Lewis, argues: "The UK's Brexit will have some long-term implications for both parties' intellectual property protection and patent and trademark applications."

According to media reports, in the long run, Brexit will not only affect the regional effectiveness of EU intellectual property rights, but also affect the construction of the EU intellectual property system itself. As a representative country of Anglo-American law system, Britain plays an important role in the formation of EU intellectual property law. Once the UK leaves the EU, the EU intellectual property legislation will lack the voice of the United Kingdom. Although this may reduce the difficulty and fetters in the coordination of the EU system, it will also make the EU intellectual property law more biased towards the civil law system and the German law system. It is not a good thing for the mutual reference and integration of legal systems. On the other hand, the UK will no longer be subject to EU legislation and European Court of Justice decisions, which will also affect the UK's domestic intellectual property legislation. In short, from the perspective of the intellectual property system, the impact of Brexit on both sides is long-term.

However, for the British technology industry, its concerns are more direct and urgent. There are even more than 200 technology entrepreneurs who jointly oppose Brexit, believing that this will bring "huge destructive power" to the British technology industry ". Why is Brexit causing such a big backlash in the UK's tech industry? ARM, a well-known semiconductor company based in Cambridge, UK, said: "Brexit will make it more difficult to recruit talent, raise capital, and increase the cost of doing business and raise the barriers to entry into the EU market."

The first problem facing the British technology industry is that it will become more difficult to recruit talents after Brexit. Instant Impact, a UK graduate recruitment firm, pointed out that there are currently 30000 vacancies in information skills related jobs in London alone, showing the serious shortage of scientific and technological talents in the UK. To this end, the UK also re-examined the strict visa restrictions adopted in the past for foreign scientific and technological talents last year, and plans to adopt more open standards for foreign talents to enter the UK to work. The large talent pool created by the EU's visa-free policy has become one of the important recruitment channels for the UK technology industry. The TransferWise executive of the British financial services start-up company said: "The EU represents the free circulation of talents. In the EU with high talent flow, a competitive recruitment market makes recruitment simple." Once Brexit, the UK will be excluded from the unified talent market, which will further aggravate the shortage of British technology talents.

Secondly, whether it is the data of consumers and users or the confidential records of employees, data supervision is involved. Once Brexit, the UK will consider whether to extend the EU's data supervision system or establish a new regulatory framework. At present, the data supervision of the UK and the EU is closely integrated, and the general data protection specification issued by the EU is expected to be implemented in 2018. On the one hand, although the impact of this clause is minimal, it means that the UK network will still be regulated by the EU; on the other hand, the UK can also re-establish a new data regulatory framework, but this also makes it more difficult for UK technology companies to meet the two sets of standards in both the UK and Europe at the same time, making it more difficult and increasing the financial burden when operating markets across the continent.

In addition, the European Union has provided rich funds for scientific and technological innovation to its allies. According to the survey, the budget for scientific and technological research from 2014 to 2020 is as high as 74.8 billion euros. Once the United Kingdom leaves the European Union, not only its scientists and scientific and technological workers will lose financial support from the European Union, but the United Kingdom itself will also lose some opportunities for innovative cooperation between countries within the European Union.

In summary, Brexit will undoubtedly have an impact on the future development of the EU and the UK's own intellectual property system and technology industry. In this regard, relevant experts believe: "The UK should make a good assessment of all parties, in-depth consideration, and a stable transition; and the EU should seize the opportunity, unite more closely, and better listen to each other's voices."

Countries in China



Flowers in Spring

Brexit, for both the United Kingdom and the European Union, can be described as a lose-lose situation; for some developing countries that have been catching up in the field of intellectual property and innovation for a long time, this is a good time to overtake on the curve.


As a former British colony, India's economic, scientific and technological status has long been closely related to the development and changes of Britain. In the first half of the 20th century, Britain's control over overseas colonies, which had been hit hard by two world wars, gradually weakened. India, which had always struggled for national liberation, took advantage of the weakness of Britain's post-war national strength to achieve independence in one fell swoop. Since then, it has broken away from indirect or direct British control for more than 300 years and embarked on the road of developing national industry and independent scientific and technological innovation. Brexit, which involves many countries and a wide range of fields, is undoubtedly a world turmoil in the economic field. Relevant experts believe that if India can take this opportunity to respond to the attacks on its intellectual property policies by developed countries represented by some EU member states and realize the independence of its intellectual property system, it will be of great benefit to its economic and technological development.

In the face of high demands from developed countries for their IPR protection, can India withstand the pressure to develop an IPR protection system adapted to its own national conditions? One month before the Brexit referendum, India handed over a world-renowned answer-the Indian government issued a National Intellectual Property Policy, which provides unified management and protection of previously decentralized intellectual property rights. The policy pointed out that the relevant laws of India have met the minimum requirements of the World Trade Organization for intellectual property protection and will not be revised in the short term due to doubts from developed countries. Relevant experts believe that, unlike the United States and the European Union, which have strengthened the protection of intellectual property rights through legislation, India's efforts to promote the development of specific fields and scientific and technological progress through the formulation of new policies by government departments have more practical significance. During the years-long formulation of the policy, the media in developed countries such as the British National Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) were full of negative comments on the policy. Now the EU itself due to the Brexit incident, the construction of the European Unified Patent Court and other matters are still inconclusive, some multinational monopolies are still on the sidelines of the EU market, may not have time to influence the implementation of India's new policy. Relevant experts believe that if India's new policy can be implemented smoothly, it may increase its weight in the game of international intellectual property rights, thereby strengthening its international intellectual property right to speak, and even taking advantage of the opportunity to become one of the intellectual property powers or unknown.

"As a developing country, India is facing the contradiction between the insufficient development of domestic science and technology and the pressure of developed countries to require high protection of intellectual property rights. In this context, India uses intellectual property rights as a legal and policy tool, and does not violate international law. Within the scope of obligations, it is not blindly pursuing higher protection standards, but formulating intellectual property policies based on the needs of domestic industrial technology development. This has some implications for other developing countries." Peking University science and technology law research center experts said.

Looking at the changes in the world's intellectual property system, we can see that the developing countries represented by India, which took the lead in economic transformation and upgrading in the post-industrial era, while actively integrating with the intellectual property systems of developed countries, they also coincidentally follow up according to their own practices. It is not blindly following up to join the international intellectual property competition. At present, when the global economic downturn is gradually expanding, Brexit also makes people see that the old intellectual property giants that have been passed down for hundreds of years are not permanent. As a result, people turn their attention to those in the forefront of developing countries. Although their driving force and control of world innovation are still unable to match that of Europe and the United States, they have become the "hot cake" in the world market through a relatively stable political system, a rising economic environment and a growing demand for innovation ".

As a leader among developing countries, China is the only developing country among the members of the five (IP5) bureaus of China, the United States, Europe, Japan and South Korea. The 2014 IP5 annual statistical report shows that the number of domestic and foreign patent applications received by the State Intellectual Property Office of China increased by 12.5 year-on-year, ranking first among the five offices and four times the growth rate of the European Patent Office. According to the 2015 annual report recently released by the European Patent Office, patent applications from mainland China accounted for 11% of the total annual applications received by the office, reaching 31504, nearly five times that of the United Kingdom, ranked fourth among all the countries of origin of the application. There is no doubt that China's IP status is increasingly important to the EU and the UK, as well as other developed countries and regions.

While watching the turbulent European market, many investors have turned their attention to Brazil, an emerging intellectual property power. As early as the 1960 s, Brazil became a regional power with the posture of a quasi-developed country. However, the rapid economic development brought about by the low technology-intensive model has also planted bitter fruit for the future. Brazil, which lacks independent innovation, was defeated by the financial crisis in the 1990 s and has been subject to developed countries for a long time thereafter. In recent years, with Brazil's continuous introduction of favorable policies on intellectual property rights, countries around the world have laid out intellectual property rights in Brazil. However, the rapid growth in the number of patent and trademark applications has overwhelmed the relevant Brazilian institutions, and some patent applications have not even been granted until 6 to 10 years later. In this regard, Brazil has taken many measures to eliminate the backlog in 2017 and further play the role of intellectual property rights in promoting the economy. At a time when the unified patent system in Europe is at risk of change due to Brexit, Brazil, which is quietly emerging, may play a more important role.

Relevant experts believe that the European Union, which has lost the United Kingdom, has undoubtedly lost an important member in the field of intellectual property rights. For this reason, it may have closer cooperation and ties with India, China, Brazil and other countries in the field of intellectual property rights; while the United Kingdom, which has left the European Union, The plan to establish a unified European Patent Court in London may come to nothing, with the process of brexit, it will be more obstructed by other EU countries, so its demand for cooperation among developing countries will be stronger. On the road of accelerating the construction of a powerful country in intellectual property rights, developing countries may usher in more friendly cooperation between the EU and the UK, and the status of intellectual property rights can be improved.

International Organizations



Water waves are not surprised

"If Britain leaves the European Union, its impact on the international organization of intellectual property rights or other developing countries is very limited." Since June 24, the Brexit incident has continued to ferment. In the face of this situation, opinions are divided. Most experts believe that the United Kingdom is a member of the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO), the Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT) and the The Madrid Agreement on International Registration of Trademarks and other members of a series of international intellectual property treaties, there are no problems in fulfilling the agreements of international treaties and international organizations, and there will be no changes or influences. If the UK leaves the EU, its limited impact will at best have a certain impact on the unified patent system that the EU is building. In addition, from the time point of view, the Brexit referendum has no legal effect, but also depends on the attitude of the British Parliament. If Britain leaves the EU, there are still a series of consultations and procedures to go with the EU, which will take at least two or three years or even longer. Therefore, the impact on the EU patent system in the short term is also limited and will not have a significant impact on the economic development of the EU.


For the EU, it has been committed to building a unified patent system. On December 20, 2011, the Legal Affairs Committee of the European Parliament voted to pass the EU unified patent system plan, which took the first step towards building a unified EU patent system. Previously, according to the patent systems of EU countries, even if inventors submit patent applications within the EU system, they need to submit them to each member state one by one, which is not only time-consuming and labor-intensive, but also expensive. The total application fee is about 10 times that of the United States. It is to solve this problem that the unified patent system proposed by the EU will simplify the procedures. According to the EU's unified patent system, inventors only need to submit an application in any of the 25 EU member states that are eligible for approval to obtain a patent right valid throughout the EU. This can greatly save the application fee and application time. On average, the cost of filing a patent application will be reduced to 680 euros, while the average cost of filing a patent application in the United States is 1850 euros. Moreover, the official language used in this patent system is English, French and German, which greatly facilitates the inventor.

For developing countries outside the EU, if the UK comes to Europe to participate in market competition after Brexit, it must submit a patent application to the EU as well as a separate patent application to the UK. Experts suggest that inventors or applicants should submit applications in PCT member states as much as possible, and use PCT international patent application channels to extend to relevant member states including the United Kingdom, thereby improving efficiency.

Regarding the cooperation mechanism of the five bureaus of China, the United States, Europe, Japan and South Korea, relevant experts believe that the most likely development trend is that the United Kingdom will rejoin and become a six-party cooperation mechanism, because both China and Europe and China and the United Kingdom have always maintained good knowledge. The momentum of property cooperation. Especially for a big intellectual property country like China, cooperation between all parties is more beneficial.


Public opinion generally believes that if the UK really leaves the EU, the current intellectual property legal system in the UK, including a series of intellectual property agreements participating in the EU, will still be valid before the long and complex Brexit process is completed. Intellectual property rights such as patents and trademarks held by intellectual property owners and their right to use the EU's unified patent system will not be lost as a result of the referendum. At the same time, relevant experts speculate that, according to the common practice, if Britain leaves the European Union, for intellectual property rights such as patent rights and trademark rights submitted in the UK, it should be divided into two situations, that is, intellectual property rights that have been submitted before Brexit and have obtained rights in the EU system, one is that there should be a transitional method, and the other is that it is also possible to re-submit applications in the UK; and if the UK after a complete Brexit, there is no doubt that the application needs to be submitted in the UK. In the design of the EU unified patent system, the European Union will set up the European Patent Court in London. But if Britain leaves the EU, this design will fall through.

Most experts in the industry believe that if Britain leaves the European Union, the impact on the world intellectual property rules under the global structure will be limited, but a series of changes may take place in the EU intellectual property system. At the same time, the UK's intellectual property system is relatively complete in today's world. The construction of the intellectual property system is at the world's advanced level, and the protection of intellectual property rights will not be affected. There is no significant impact on the intellectual property work of intellectual property international organizations or developing countries. Because international cooperation in intellectual property is the consensus of the world today, only when everyone respects the international rules of intellectual property can international cooperation in intellectual property be effective. In today's world where changes are the norm, if the UK leaves the EU, it is estimated that people will quickly adapt to the changes, and everything will remain as usual after the ripples.