24 February 2016

UPC and the UK Referendum

While patents have not yet been central to the debate on the UK referendum, exit of the UK from the European Union is likely at least to delay implementation of the proposed pan-European unified patent system (UPC).

Ultimately, however, it is likely that the system will go ahead across the rest of Europe. While UK patentees would be able to apply for a Unitary Patent, such patents would not cover the UK and UK protection would need to be obtained via a separate patent. As one of the largest markets in Europe, however, exit of the UK from the EU and the UPC system raises the question of how attractive the remaining unitary patent will be for applicants.