EU 22 Dec 2016
The Agreement on the Unified Patent Court (UPC) will be ratified by the United Kingdom, according to a statement by UK Minister for IP, Baroness Neville-Rolfe. This improves the prospects of the UPC and the Unitary Patent coming into force as early as 2017.
The path is now cleared for the last few ratifications to take place in the coming months, and for the new court to start its work soon after, according to EPO President Benoît Battistelli. The UPC will provide a single forum for all participating states delivering faster enforcement actions and harmonized judicial decisions.
After months of uncertainty after the result of the referendum on the UK leaving the European Union, the UK’s clarification was welcomed by the European Commission and the European Patent Office (EPO).
The new Unitary Patent order can come into effect only when at least thirteen member states have ratified the Agreement on the UPC, including France, Germany and the UK that are key members. To date, eleven have done so, including France.