25 January 2018
High-level representatives and experts of the EPO, led by President Benoît Battistelli, met yesterday in Munich with a delegation of the Chartered Institute of Patent Attorneys (CIPA) headed by its President, Stephen Jones.
The meeting allowed the EPO and CIPA to confirm that Brexit will have no consequence on UK membership of the European Patent Organisation, nor on the effect of European patents in the UK. Accordingly, European patent attorneys based in the UK will continue to be able to represent applicants before the EPO.
‘Meeting with CIPA gave us an opportunity to restate that Brexit will have no impact on UK membership of the EPO. For a very simple reason - the EPO is not an EU agency but an independent international organisation, of which the UK is a founding member', said President Battistelli.
Both the EPO and CIPA acknowledged the good progress made by the UK on the ratification of the UPC Agreement, which it is expected to ratify in the coming months. 15 EU member states have ratified the agreement so far, and more are expected to do so soon.
During the meeting, the EPO also reported on recent developments at the Office, including advances in productivity and quality, and on strategic projects for 2018. Among the forthcoming initiatives, President Battistelli provided further details on the fee reductions coming into force on 1 April, as well as XML Filing, a new user-friendly initiative to facilitate patent applications. In addition, the issue of User-Driven Early Certainty was also discussed as a way to create more flexibility in the patent granting process. CIPA also expressed great interest in potential new validation agreements, which will expand the remit of European patents beyond Europe and the neighbouring countries.
CIPA is the professional and examining body for patent attorneys from the United Kingdom. The Institute was founded in 1882 and was incorporated by Royal Charter in 1891. It represents over 2 000 chartered patent attorneys, both in industry and private practice.