Following the surprise ratification of the Unified Patent Court Agreement by the UK on World IP Day 2018, a new Brexit white paper published last week confirms that the UK intends to explore how it can stay part of the UPC Agreement after the UK leaves the EU on 29 March 2019.
Unitary Patents would be administered by the European Patent Office which is separate from the EU, and the UK government acknowledges the value of the Unitary Patent system to enable a streamlined, single-court process for patent enforcement. Therefore, the UK has committed to working with other contracting states to ensure that the UPC Agreement can continue on a solid legal basis.
However, a major hurdle remains for the Unitary Patent system as Germany, one of the required signatories to the UPC Agreement, has yet to issue a decision on a constitutional challenge against its ratification of the Agreement. That decision is expected to be issued later this year and may decide the fate of the Unitary Patent system.
For more information on the UPC, please contact your usual Kilburn & Strode advisor.