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The UK Prime Minister announced this week that Article 50 would be triggered on 29 March 2017.
It had been previously reported that the UK might try and conclude its ratification procedure for the Unified Patent Court Agreement prior to the Article 50 notification but the ratification procedure has slipped sufficiently that this will not now be possible.
IPcopy understands from the UKIPO that there is currently no confirmed date for laying the Statutory Instruments (on Privileges and Immunities) before Parliament that are required to complete the UK’s ratification formalities. It is expected that this will now occur after the Easter recess towards the end of April. Further details on the UK’s path to ratifying the UPC Agreement can be found here.
Following the Brexit vote last June progress on bringing the unitary patent system into operation ground to a halt. The last few weeks however have seen a resumption of activities which was confirmed last week when the Unfied Patent Court Preparatory Committee website posted a new timetable for the UPC Agreement to come into force and the Court to open.
All things being equal the Preparatory Committee sees the Court becoming operational in December 2017. Keeping its end of the bargain, for now, the UK also took the next step in its own ratification process. (more…)
Can the UK continue with the UPC post-Brexit? IPcopy suggests a tentative way forward.
After months of soundbites we finally heard the “plan” for Brexit this week when the Prime Minister gave a speech at Lancaster House that detailed a 12 point plan for leaving the EU (Full transcript here).
Objective 2 of this action plan related to the control of our own laws and leaving the jurisdiction of the CJEU (see extract from the transcript in footnote below1). This in turn lead several commentators to speculate that this would block the UK’s participation in the unitary patent scheme post-Brexit since, under the UPCA, questions relating to the interpretation of EU law can be referred from the UPC to the CJEU.
How, in light of this link between the CJEU/UPC and the PM’s statement, could the UK continue participation in the UPC?
The simplest answer to the above question is that post-Brexit the UK will have to leave the UPC and unitary patent. However, this is seemingly at odds with statements made recently by Jo Johnson (see our article from earlier this week) where it was suggested that the UK has a great interest in being part of the UPC and that our continued participation will be part of the Brexit negotiations.
So, IPcopy wondered if there was a way of reconciling this apparent conflict such that the UK could stay part of the UPC. (more…)
As we reported a couple of weeks ago, the UK announced at the EU Competitiveness Meeting in November that it would be continuing with its preparations for ratifying the Unified Patent Court (UPC) Agreement.
In an article last week I noted that I was unsure of the steps the UK would need to take to ratify. Since then however I have very kindly been walked through the remaining steps of the ratification process in a conversation with Dr Laura Starrs at the UKIPO.
Following this conversation IPcopy understands the process as follows (Note: any errors or omissions in what follows are my fault alone!):
Last week the UK announced at an EU Competitiveness Council meeting that it was proceeding with preparations to ratify the Unified Patent Court Agreement (UPCA). This announcement was greeted with some surprise but seemed to be generally viewed as “a good thing”: the unitary patent system could get back on track, the UK and Germany could ratify the agreement and we might see the first unitary patents rolling off the production line some time in the back half of 2017.
There was, however, some cynicism expressed online with some commentators pointing out that the official announcement is, when you really look at it, pretty light on actual detail1.
Now, I’m not one to shy away from a good healthy dose of cynicism but I thought the announcement was actually heralding the restarting of the ratification process. However, I’ve recently heard some background to the announcement which has made me wonder – “Is the UK trying to have its cake and eat it?” (more…)
Following rumours that have been circulating since last week, the UK confirmed yesterday, at an EU Competitiveness Council meeting, that it will continue with its preparations for ratification of the Unified Patent Court Agreement. This announcement seemingly gets the unitary patent system back on track and a start date at some point during 2017 once again seems a possibility.
The full announcement from the UK government can be found here and is also reproduced at the end of this post. In this post, IPcopy takes a closer look at what was said, what needs to happen next and then speculates what might happen post-Brexit. (more…)
While the uncertainty over the UK’s participation in the unitary patent project remains, preparations for the unitary patent system continue. In the last week or so there have been a couple of updates related to Italian participation in the scheme. (more…)
This Thursday, 23 June 2016, is of course Referendum Day here in the UK, the outcome of which could have a significant impact on the unitary patent system. This Thursday also marks the day on which two bills relating to Germany’s ratification procedure for the UPCA will come before the German parliament. This hearing is apparently the first of three hearings. With the German Parliament due to take a summer break throughout most of July and August it may be the autumn before the necessary steps have been taken to ratify the UPCA in Germany. [German Parliament calendar; Draft Bill 1; Draft Bill 2] (more…)
Newspapers reported last week that Christine Lagarde, the head of the IMF, regarded a vote to leave the EU as having “pretty bad to very, very bad consequences” for the UK. This view was echoed by four of the five panelists at the CIPA/IP Centrum Brexit Symposium on Thursday 12 May. The symposium, hosted by Gwilym Roberts, included a contribution from Kevin Mooney who has been heavily involved in preparations for the (hopefully) upcoming unitary patent system.
In this post IPcopy will take a look at the implications for the unitary patent system in the event of a vote to leave the EU. (more…)