The UK is working towards bringing the Unified Patent Court into operation as soon as possible

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The UK government confirmed on 28 November 2016 it is proceeding with preparations to ratify the Unified Patent Court Agreement.

The aim is to enable British businesses to protect and enforce their patent rights across Europe in a more streamlined way – with a single patent and through a single patent court. The UK Government believes that the UPC will make it easier for British businesses to protect their ideas and inventions from being illegally copied by companies in other countries. However, the fact that it intends to proceed with the ratification should officially not be seen as pre-empting the UK’s objectives or position in the forthcoming negotiations with the EU. In order to re-inforce the point, it is interesting to note that the press release adds that “The UPC itself is not an EU institution, it is an international patent court”.

The UK decision will be seen by most as a welcomed development as a section of the central division should be based in London (the seat being in Paris).

It follows the 12 September 2016 report of Richard Gordon QC and Tom Pascoe, who were instructed to advise the IP Federation, the Chartered Institute of Patent Attorneys and the Intellectual Property Lawyers Association on “The effect of ‘Brexit’ on the unitary patent regulation and the unified patent court agreement”.

(Altalex, 20 February 2017. Article by Emmanuel Guinchard)

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