|The IPKat loves his European colleagues|
We are sorry.
Not one person in the IPKat team wanted to be writing this post this morning. Least of all, me. Despite my moniker, I have spent over 20 years in the UK, over half of which has been devoted to the study and practice of European intellectual property law.
As lawyers, we are taught that cases turn on the evidence. Patent litigators will tell you that you win or lose on the credibility of your expert witness. Strong expert evidence, strong case, strong prospects of success.
The expert evidence was strong and unambiguous. The UK must remain with the Union to continue to enjoy economic and political security and progress. Business leaders, economists and heads of state all agreed that turning our backs on the European Union would spell disaster for the UK's economic future. Our Katonomist, Nicola Searle, says she has never seen economists so unanimous on a subject. They have so far turned out to be right with shares and the British pound plummeting to a 30 year low, this morning. Experienced politicians and security advisers agreed that retreating from Europe would result in social and political insecurity.
The UK IP profession was in favour of remaining. The negative impact on key innovative industries, including life sciences, could not be ignored.
On the cold, hard evidence, the UK should have voted to stay. But the Leave campaign was built on emotion. And instead of a judge, the vote went to a jury. And any good trial lawyer will tell you, emotion can often displace the evidence.
And that is why we are writing to you. We wanted to share our emotion this morning.
We are sad.
Many of us are angry.
Some are ashamed.
I am a European IP lawyer. The IPKat team is heavily comprised of European IP lawyers, with representatives from the UK, Ireland, Italy and Switzerland in our mix. Since the IPKat's founding in 2003, our blog's predominant focus has been on European IP developments. A large proportion of our readership is European.
Although the IPKat has often been critical of decisions of European institutions, whether that be of the CJEU in SPC and trade mark matters, or the manner in which the Unified Patent Court came to fruition, we and the creative and innovative industries have overwhelmingly benefited from the European Union. The harmonization of IP laws across such a significant marketplace has made it easier for industry to protect, exploit and enforce their IP. It has led to job creation and fostered a shared understanding of how to improve IP law and practice for the benefit of all.
The European Union has made us stronger and closer as a profession. At IP conferences, you often see mini reunions with UK lawyers running up to hug their German, French or Italian counterparts, opponents and friends. It has benefited our clients, as much as it has enriched our professional and personal lives.
This morning's result is not a reflection of our profession's respect or love for our European colleagues or European IP law. That, at least, remains.
We do not want to lose our bond and we will not. You are our colleagues. You are our friends.
One of the IPKat's key objectives is to bring our global IP community closer together by sharing IP decisions, legislation and practice from across the world with our readers. Our aim is that by fostering a shared understanding of our unique perspectives, we can work together to improve IP law for innovators, creators, users and the public.
The IPKat's objective is now even more important. We will be as engaged as ever in European IP law, sharing news and commentary from national and European courts. With our readers, the IPKat will continue to foster the strong bond with our European colleagues that we have so luckily enjoyed for over forty years.
In the coming weeks, months and years, there will be a lot of questions about what the European IP landscape looks like without the UK. We will keep you updated on the latest news and insight as matters progress.
But, for now, all we can say is - we are sorry.
The IPKat Team
Dear Europe... Reviewed by Annsley Merelle Ward on Friday, June 24, 2016 Rating: