What the UK Government’s Brexit White Paper holds for the innovation economy

Posted in Intellectual property Technology and innovation Life sciences and healthcare

Ensuring the prosperity of UK’s innovation economy

The Government has identified the promotion of innovation that underpins UK’s place in the world as one of the key areas of focus. The Government proposes a strategic approach seeking “new forms of cooperation” where it is in both parties’ mutual interest, which should cover the following areas:

  1. science and innovation;
  2. culture and education;
  3. overseas development assistance and international action;
  4. defence research and capability development; and
  5. space.

The cooperation would require UK individuals or entities to be allowed to participate in EU programmes, and it is acknowledged that UK would need to make financial contribution accordingly. The White Paper also raises the need for the UK and the EU to allow for mobility in relation to these accords, for example enabling scientists to attend conferences. The White Paper emphasises the need to maintain our shared security when it comes to research and development in relation to defence and space.

Maintaining a strong IP system

The White Paper also acknowledges the importance of intellectual property and the high quality of UK’s intellectual property system rendering the UK one of the “best places in the world to protect and enforce IP rights”. In this context, the White Paper highlights the long history of European cooperation on patents, and states that the government “intends” to explore staying in the unitary patent court (UPC) system after the UK leaves the EU, having already made the step of ratifying the Unified Patent Court Agreement, on 26 April 2018.

However, the White Paper does not reconcile how continued participation in the UPC (which provides for submission to the jurisdiction of the CJEU and supremacy of EU law) would reconcile with its earlier statement that “the CJEU will no longer have the power to make laws for the UK and the principles of direct effect and of the supremacy of EU law will no longer apply in the UK”.

Other aspects of Intellectual Property

The UK IPO has published a summary of where we are with all other forms of intellectual property.

Brexit: planning for the future as negotiations continue

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