Implications of Brexit on the UPC
The UK’s vote to leave the EU on 23 June 2016 raised considerable uncertainty about whether or not the UK would be part of the Unitary Patent and Unified Patent Court (UPC), and indeed whether the entire project would continue. Recent developments suggest that the UPC and Unitary Patent may well go ahead with the UK as a participating party. In a statement issued on 28 November 2016, the UK government “has confirmed it is proceeding with preparations to ratify the Unified Patent Court Agreement” and “will be working with the Preparatory Committee to bring the Unified Patent Court (UPC) into operation as soon as possible”. Ratification by the UK will require Parliamentary approval, but it is unknown when that might occur.
Ratification in Germany has been delayed meaning that the UPC is unlikely to be operational before spring 2018 even if the UK ratifies soon.