Tue 29th Nov 2016
Europe-wide patent protection boost as UK government confirms it will ratify the Unified Patent Court Agreement
The UK government has finally ended months of speculation about what, if any, part the UK will play in the establishment of the Unified Patent Court following the country’s decision earlier this year to leave the EU.
In a clear show of support for the UK’s patent industry, Intellectual Property Minister of State, Baroness Neville Rolfe, announced yesterday, 28 November 2016, that the UK was pressing ahead with its preparations to ratify the Unified Patent Court Agreement, which is hoped will pave the way for a quicker, simpler and cheaper system of patent registration and patent right enforcement throughout Europe.
The announcement emphasises that the Unified Patent Court is an international court, rather than an EU institution. Nonetheless, there has been confusion among many outside Europe who feared that Brexit would spell the end of the UK’s involvement in the Unified Court initiative. This announcement is a clear sign of support from the UK government.
As yet there is no fixed date by which the court will be up and running but some commentators have suggested that it could be operational as soon as Spring or Summer 2017. The Chemistry and Life Sciences branch of the Court will be based in London.
The UK has evidenced its commitment to remain an integral part of the international system for registering and enforcing Europe-wide patents, and here at Page White and Farrer we remain committed to protecting the interests of domestic and international businesses who require European patent services, as well as UK and international patent protection.
This briefing is for general information purposes only and should not be used as a substitute for legal advice relating to your particular circumstances. We can discuss specific issues and facts on an individual basis and answer any questions you receive from others about Brexit. Please note that the law may have changed since the date this was first published in November 2016.