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