Dear UK...

Since publishing IPKat's letter to our European IP colleagues (see letter here) following Friday's EU referendum result, the IPKat has received an outpouring of comments, emails and tweets from across Europe and the globe.  Although there has been some criticism, the majority of responses have been warm and positive.  The IPKat received a letter in reply from Sven Klos of the Netherlands that the team thought was worth sharing with our readers:

Dear British IP friends,

We will miss you. We will be much weakened and diminished without you.

It has been an immense privilege travelling a considerable part of the long and winding road to unity with you.

It will be difficult reaching our goal of unity in the interest of lasting peace and prosperity without you.

We will sorely miss your sense of tradition, history, innate civility, benign conservatism, libertarian- and contrarian streaks, eccentricity, sense of fairness and humour. Your DNA, however, is woven into our union and we will therefore always recognize you as our brothers.

We will from now on be an incomplete family. We are left as orphans in the largest English-speaking IP jurisdiction in the world without native speakers to guide us. [Merpel considered correcting Sven on this point by uttering a brilliantly Wildean epigram, but thought better of it.]

The forging of a union is a fascinating, messy process. It takes, as Churchill famously said at the 1948 Congress of Europe, the pooling of all our comradeship and luck.

We will always have comradeship in plenty. But our luck ran out.

None of you, or hardly any of you, voted to leave us. You are the people of good will who run the country, legal system and government. You are the young, you are the educated. You are the 48 percent.

You are the victims of an insincere, clownish demagogue deftly stoking the visceral fears and unbritish xenophobia caused by a series of economic and political crises not of your making. You are caught in the destruction caused by a schoolboy rivalry played out on the world stage.

You are not to blame.

Well, there is perhaps one thing some of you could have done. Friends must be honest with each other. It is, however, something that all IP lawyers in all member states are guilty of.

We all could perhaps at times have been a little milder for the plodding European courts who have to wade through a swamp of 28 slowly converging legal cultures to make their essential contribution to our unity. A little less superior, a little less cynical. We have perhaps had a little too much CJEU bashing by judges and academics. Even British lawyers may someday find themselves nostalgic for that much maligned court.

So, that occasional we do-things differently attitude – that we are at times all guilty of - is the only thing we will not miss.

Once you re-apply to our by then far more perfect union you will be welcomed as the lost brothers you are. But we should in the meantime all learn the lesson that you are paying for so dearly.

We must rid ourselves of unconstructive criticism and the mortal danger of taking everything our union has achieved for granted. We must rediscover, love and cherish it.

Dear UK... Dear UK... Reviewed by David Brophy on Sunday, June 26, 2016 Rating: 5


  1. Another odd question...

    Is the IP Kat team now looking for a foothold in Ireland (Dublin)? ...furthermore the Irish would have sorted the Brexit issue out in no time with a second referendum, they are more focussed on the "gains" not the "pains".

  2. Since when did the UK resign from the EPC, the cornerstone of European IP for over 40 years?The EU are only johhnie come latelies in this business. In any case, it ought to be possible to negotiate a patent union between GB and the EU, like CH and Lichtenstein, to keep the wheels on the UPC, if that seems sensible.

    Happy Brexiter

  3. I was disappointed by the original IPKat post on Brexit - insulting and patronising to 52% of the UK population. It was the latest step in the sad decline of a web resource that used to be scholarly, critical, amusing, but balanced.

  4. So insulting and patronising to democracy. What Union do we ALL wish for?

    Europe is in for a shock if it believes only the 'uneducated' majority in Britain do not want to be part of another ideological single state.

    Have you not seen the mass popular uprisings around Europe (the continent) and elsewhere over the last 50 years?

  5. So insulting and patronising. We should give the people what they ask for.

    Have you met the people?

    it has only been recently the UK public showed any sign of being trustworthy.

    The public have been manipulated. I do hope they don't get what they deserve.

  6. Meldrew, you have a superiority complex you have not earned. "Have you met the people?" Are you trying to win you way onto the ipkat team?

  7. From here, it looks like Meldrew is the one attempting to be manipulating.

    Or should I "butt out" as well...? (or suffer an incongruent insult about "chads" for which I have nothing to do with)...

  8. Thomas Dillon said: " ...insulting and patronising to 52% of the UK population". Thomas, where did you get this "52% of the UK population" from? In the referendum, 52% (actually 51.9%) of those who voted, voted for the Brexit. But only 72.2% of the electorate voted, so only 37.4% of the electorate voted for Brexit. Also, the electorate, i.e. those with the right to vote, is less than "the UK population", as no-one under 18 years of age had the right to vote, and also many non-Brits resident in the UK, and therefore part of "the UK population", could also not vote. So the idea that 52% of the UK population wants to leave the EU is an enormous load of rubbish.

  9. Brexit has not happened and may never happen. The process has been far form democratic. The referendum is not binding. Read the press. Wait and see.

  10. I agree; but everyone is talking as if the referendum is binding. Parliament must approve the exit. If it means the destruction of the the UK as the Scots leave, then Labour is extinct in England: and they may refuse to to vote that. I personally would count the Scots leaving the UK as a 100-fold greater disaster than leaving the EU.

  11. Anonymous - same poor logic here...

  12. Some people talk such Tosh. The decision is now undemocratic because every living being in the UK did not vote for leaving the EU. Let us, for arguments sake, accept that 'not very many' voted to leave. Guess what peeps? Even less voted to remain.

    Peeps will then quote the protest vote such that many 'leave' votes should actually be counted as 'remain' votes. The we start on the IQ of the 'leave' voters. Clearly those of low IQ who voted leave did not understand the issues so their votes should also be added to the 'remain' count.

    Clearly the IP community should have their votes weighted as they are votes of the righteous, educated, knowledgeable.

    A few more tweaks and we have a unanimous 100% vote in favour of not only remaining in the EU, but of serving our children up as offerings at the high of Junckers and Co. Read the press. Wait and see.

    Welcome to North Korea.

  13. No we just wait a few years. The young voted predominantly remain, the old die, by 2018, those wanting to remain will exceed those wanting to leave.

    Democracy is not a god, it is a tool, and this tool has been wielded by tools.

  14. Anonymous 15:24, my apologies. I left this link off my post

    I do not have a superiority complex, I was born in a council house, I just get out and use my eyes and ears.

  15. So Meldrew a pic,
    Scotland voted to remain, so you must think they are good decent intelligent educated souls, not unlike yourself?
    Not a nation of rogues that would seek to scupper a well-established union?
    Pray tell oh Meldy, if Scotland votes to leave the UK to join the EU, are they tools?
    According to your logic, they must be.
    And you agreed earlier they are a people built in your image?

  16. Because "Meldrew" said so...?

    Name-calling based purely on your own personal belief system is not very effective.

  17. Dear Kat,
    Sorry, but you participate yourself in the campaign for the “out”.
    Few days before the referendum, you put online articles which presented violations of judicial independence at the European Patent Office. Who would like to stay in such Europe?

    A clever Kat cannot ignore that the little mouses believe that the EPO is part of the European Union.

  18. Meldrew,
    you have a superiority complex you have not earned.
    Trust me. I have a superiority complex I have earned.

  19. It seems to me a bit of stretch to argue that criticism of the senior management of the EPO amounts to participation in the campaign to leave the EU.

  20. I wholehardedly welcome IPKat's letter to Europe and Steven Klos's reply. It is ludicrous that 51.9% of voters with less than a 75% turnout should force the entire Country into this, with Scotland, Northern Ireland and London firmly against it. It can harldy be called democracy. There are the parameters for the Referendum to be re-run and I encourage anyone who feels let down to sign this Petition:

  21. Excellent piece of writing, Sven. You rock.

  22. Anonymous 00:22

    You are letting your arrogant assumptions show. The "tools" I referred to are the politicians who attempted to solve their internal disputes by a referendum, in a nation not used to referenda: not the voters who put an X in a box.

    Anonymous 08:20

    I don't think you have a superiority complex. You simply have not read what I said. The public have been manipulated. If this was too difficult a point for you to grasp, I am sorry.

  23. "in a nation not used to referenda"

    No s*** Sherlock. If only you'd explained this to the tools earlier it may have simplified things for everyone. Would you go with just the one box to tick, or maybe a pre-ticked box? Crayons or colouring pencils?

    Keep working on the complex - be positive and you can achieve your dreams.

  24. We must all agree that our European Project requires Britain as a core member. I fear our project has failed, de facto, if Britain leaves. This cannot be allowed to happen and we must fight it every step of the way. At this moment we must insist.

  25. @Anonymous:
    speak for yourself. I do not consider the British as a "core member".
    The moment they demanded a special treatment, they turned their back on solidarity and a common Europe, and in my eyes that was the moment they should have left.
    The core members are for me the BeNeLux, FR, DE, and since newer times, SP, IT, AT. The wider core includes all EURO countries, and not even there the UK plays a role.
    So, no. We can do fine without the United Kingdom. Now it's a matter of treating each other fairly while the separation is executed, and while the rest focuses on how to continue, and implement the necessary reforms, many of which have been shot down by the British representatives.

    If you want to be a member of the club, agree to all its rules. Otherwise stay out, please. You've been making it a mess for all of us.

    The UK will stay an important partner in many issues. And the list of stuff we need to negotiate is very long. Starting with weird things as fishing quotas, ESA cooperation, ..., and core matters as free-trade agreements, validity of EU-regulations in the UK, status quo for those who already live and work "abroad",....

  26. Martin, you fail in my mind to understand the premise of the core of our project as set out by its founding fathers. It is the whole of Europe that must come together. We cannot redefine the boundaries at moments in time like this. No.

    All European countries must be core members as they are now. You are wrong to marginalise our neighbours so. Iceland, Norway, all, must come along also.

  27. @Anon:
    I'd love to see that happen, but from the moment beloved Miss Thatcher shouted "I want my money back!", the UK defined themselves as someone who is not interested in a better Europe, but only in a better UK. That was when they lost a lot value in my opinion.
    Political Europe and geographical Europe are very different things for me, and have always been. Possibly I saw too much of the "iron curtain", but the borders ae still there, even if they have moved...


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