UK Government faces Brexit political pressure on UPC


The UK Government’s plans to proceed with the UK’s involvement in the Unified Patent Court (UPC) are facing political pressure from those who consider it conflicts with the result of the Brexit referendum. Brexit-supporting British newspaper The Daily Express has picked up on the perceived political clash between the UPC and Brexit in an article referring to the Government’s UPC strategy as a ‘secret plan to tie Britain to EU after Brexit’.

The European Court of Justice will have an influence over the operation of the UPC, and the UPC is currently open only to EU member states, but the UPC itself is not an EU institution. The UK Independence Party’s sole Member of Parliament, Douglas Carswell, has filed an early day motion against the protocol on privileges and immunities (part of the legal process of implementing the UPC). Such motions are rarely debated in parliament but are mainly used to draw attention to an issue.

The Government has confirmed since the Brexit vote that it intends to proceed with ratification of the UPC agreement. The expected launch date is currently December 2017, but this political pressure could lead to further delays.

For more information on this situation, please contact Jeremy Smith or your usual Kilburn & Strode advisor.