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A delegation of intellectual property officials is seeking to tempt Chinese businesses to hire UK attorneys by reassuring them that Brexit will have no impact on the European patent system.
Members of the Chartered Institute of Patent Attorneys and a UK Intellectual Property Office delegation met members of the All China Patents Agents Association (ACPAA), as well as UK companies based in China last week.
According to CIPA, ACPAA ‘agreed to remind their members’ that the European patent system is unconnected to the European Union. The group also promoted the work of UK-based attorneys and why they should be preferred by Chinese companies when filing patents and trademarks in Europe.
The UK is currently in the process of ratifying the Unified Patent Court agreement - a court system that will hear disputes related to unitary patents. The unitary patent will be valid in 25 EU member states.
As it stands attorneys will still be able to act before the court after Brexit, though solicitors and barristers will not. The drafting committee for the rules of procedure for the UPC said it will ensure that this rule is changed.
One of the court’s major divisions is set to be housed in Aldgate Tower in the City of London and will, on occasion, have to refer certain matters to the Court of Justice of the EU, though this will be restricted to areas that hinge on limited areas where EU law impacts on patent law.
Also during the visit, a non-disclosure agreement (NDA) to support clarity on IP arrangements was also set up.
According to the IPO, the NDA is part of a set of ‘practical resources and advice provided to British and Chinese researchers to help them effectively manage IP in cross-border projects’.
Tony Rollins, immediate past president at CIPA, said: ‘CIPA is pleased to support the government’s work with the Chinese State Intellectual Property Office and other IP organisations in China. We have also taken the opportunity to meet with colleagues in our sister organisation, the ACPAA, and British companies in China to update them on the latest UK and international IP developments.’