The Unified Patent Court website announced last week that the target date for the entry into force of the UPC is going to be delayed (the date being targeted was 1 December 2017).
As noted in the announcement the entry into force date was subject to a number of factors such as completing the required number of national ratification procedures and getting enough countries to participate in the Protocol on Provisional Application. A new timetable is expected to be published soon.
The UPC announcement was made on 7 June 2017, a day before the UK continued in its commitment to making a dog’s dinner of anything and everything political by going to the polls at the General Election and returning a hung parliament.
In the UK, the State Opening of Parliament is due on 19 June 2017* and the summer recess for the Lords and Commons starts on 21 July 2017. There is therefore quite a small window for the UK to try and pick up and complete its ratification of the UPC Agreement. As far as IPcopy is aware though there is limited input required at this stage from the government so maybe the will be some movement before the summer but don’t hold your breath….
The UK is not the only potential source of delay for the UPC though as Germany might be wanting to get in on the act as well! Yesterday, the German Constitutional Court asked the German president to hold on from signing German UPC legislation. The nature of the delay doesn’t seem to be known yet so it could be a minor setback only. If any readers know more then please leave a comment below.
The upshot of all the above is that the unitary patent system is going to be delayed from the 1 December 2017 start date to some unspecified point in the future. We’ll keep you posted of developments.
Mark Richardson 13 June 2017
*though that might depend on whether the ink is dry on the speech…..