The UK government today announced that the UK intends to ratify the UPC agreement. Following the expected ratification of the UPC by the UK, the UPC will come into effect after ratification by Germany. It is expected that the Unitary Patent and the Unified Patent Court will come into effect during 2017.
European patent applicants and proprietors are encouraged to ensure that they are well informed about the major changes to European patent law that are now imminent.
Today 's announcement confirms that the UK intends to remain fully integrated in the European patent system. The expectation is that the UK will remain party to the UPC following the UK leaving the EU. The geographical coverage of the UPC with UK participation will make a unitary patent significantly more attractive than without UK participation and will be welcomed by users. Further, the location of the part of the central division handling chemical, metallurgical and life sciences cases in London and the participation of the UK 's experienced patent judges as judges in the UPC and UK solicitors as UPC litigators makes the success of the UPC more likely. The participation of UK European Patent Attorneys as UPC litigators will also be valuable to litigants.
The UK leaving the EU does not have any effect now or in the future on the validity of pending European applications or granted European patents covering the UK or on the UK 's membership of the European Patent Convention (EPC).