IP experts look at rights of audience for UK lawyers in new patent court

Gill Grassie

IP experts Robert Buchan and Gill Grassie (pictured) of Brodies LLP look at how Brexit has led to uncertainty about UK lawyers’ future in the planned Unified Patent Court in this year’s Scottish Legal News Annual Review.

They write: “As there seems to be political will and business support for the UK to remain part of the UPC post-Brexit it is hoped that a practical solution will be achieved, with the Agreement amended to allow UK and Scottish lawyers to represent their clients in the UPC. Such rights of representation will need to be negotiated with all participating member states.

“If the UPC is established prior to the UK leaving the EU, UK lawyers will be able to represent clients before the UPC - at least initially. Some commentators have argued that if the UPC is established while the UK remains a member of the EU, then UK lawyers who have already registered to act before the UPC remain on the register, as generally they cannot be removed other than on disciplinary grounds. While there may be some merits in this argument, the rights of audience of UK lawyers in the UPC is too important an issue upon which not to have absolute clarity. This should be an important point in the overall negotiations about the UK’s involvement in the UPC post-Brexit.”

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