More than 70 delegates from a wide range of industry and IP professions came together on 15 March to discuss actions needed by government, industry, commerce and the IP professions to manage the IP related challenges and maximise the opportunities of Brexit.

Despite Intellectual Property (IP) being our most important national asset IP has so far received relatively little attention in the Brexit debate and was only mentioned three times in Theresa May’s White Paper.  Yet it became clear that if trade associations, IP professionals and industry representative bodies don’t make their voices heard, some sectors, and in particular, design, IP education and IP rich industries that depend on easy access to patent protection and enforceability, will be left without any means to protect their intellectual assets or face increased costs to retain the status quo. The consequences for the UK economy can be severe from scientific research or innovative tech companies relocating elsewhere to consumers having delayed access to new medicines.

Speakers only identified a few opportunities ranging from a higher awareness of risk to IP assets, which may lead to a strengthening of the IP insurance sector or biosciences being able to experiment under much more liberal conditions if EU regulations do not have to be followed anymore, which are perceived in some quarters of the community as irrational.

The Chair of IPAN, John Ogier comments, “Britain is a great nation of inventors, innovators and social leaders across a breadth of technologies, creative industries, social media, design, pharmaceuticals, financial services, agriculture and horticulture. IP and related intangibles underpin the trading rights in all these fields and must be considered or we risk losing whole areas of rights and competitive advantage upon which jobs, value creation and trading opportunities depend. IPAN has brought together representatives of Government, industry, the IP professions and Universities to bring into focus the issues and opportunities faced. It is only by working together across the boundaries that we can successfully address the challenge.

“Best IPAN event I have ever attended” “Very well organised” “Excellent, informative and thought provoking” “Much-needed and thought provoking event on the impact of BREXIT on IP” “Provided a needed focus for the complex IP issues government and industry must address” “Great to have the plant and bio-sciences included alongside other industries and commerce”

All presentations including contributed papers will be written up in a report: “IP, Brexit and beyond – opportunities and challenges” – made available for government and industry to help negotiate a successful IP and trade pathway through the Brexit process.

You can find more information on speakers and relevant links to resources here.