22 August 2019

An update on the Unified Patent Court

A recent response from the German Federal Government to Parliament has made clear that Germany will not be ratifying the Unified Patent Court Agreement (UPCA) until the consequences of Brexit are confirmed.

In its response, the German government stated: ‘The question of the withdrawal of the United Kingdom from the European Union (so-called Brexit) and its implications for European patent reform play an important role in the further implementation process [of the] Unified Patent Court. The real and legal implications of withdrawing from the Convention must be examined and agreed at European level. This opinion is not yet completed, not least because essential factors of anticipated exit are currently unknown.’ (translated from German statement – here)

It has also been announced that Jo Johnson MP has been re-appointed as UK IP Minister. Given Mr Johnson’s support of the UK’s participation in the UPC during his time as IP Minister from July 2016 – January 2018 (i.e. immediately following the Brexit referendum decision), marking its importance to UK businesses and inventors, it is possible that he (and Prime Minister Boris Johnson) will be keen to find a way for the UK to take part in the long term.

For more information about these recent developments, or for any other general queries about the UPC, get in touch with Caroline Warren or your usual Mathys & Squire attorney.