01 December 2016

UPC Update

It has been announced that the Agreement on the Unified Patent Court (UPC) will be ratified by the United Kingdom.

Baroness Neville-Rolfe, the UK Minister for IP, confirmed the decision this week.  There has been much debate since Brexit about whether the UK would still ratify the UPC, and this announcement is a significant step forwards. The decision has now been welcomed by the European Commission, the EU members states and the EPO.

The Unitary Patent Court has been designed to allow pan-European patent revocation and infringement actions. Once in place it will be possible to file a ‘Unitary Patent’, a single patent that will provide protection across all participating European Union member states. This will result in significant savings to patentees that usually register their patents in multiple European countries and make it easier for business to protect their ideas and inventions.

The Unitary Patent regime can only come into effect when at least 13 member states have ratified the Agreement on the UPC, including France, Germany and the UK. As it stands, 11 have done so.