29 June 2017

UPC Update

With the UK election over, attention in the world of patents can turn back to the ratification process for the Unified Patent Agreement. The Chairman of the UPC Preparatory Committee has released a statement indicating that he is hopeful that the sunrise period of the UPC might start in early 2018 and the UPC might be brought into effect in Spring 2018, but the timing is reliant on ratification progress in the signatory countries.

In the UK, the legislative process to ratify the UPC has been resumed with the order to bring the Protocol on Privileges and Immunities being laid before parliament, allowing it to start the process of being considered by committees in the House of Commons and the House of Lord. This process is not expected to be complete until at least Autumn 2017.

However, while it is not unreasonable to hope that the UK ratification process might be complete in time to meet the new timetable, a recent court action in Germany has called into question whether German ratification might face significant delays. We may see further revisions to the timetable before this chapter in the harmonisation of European patent law is brought to a conclusion.

If you have any questions about the UPC please speak to your attorney at Mathys & Squire or contact Caroline Warren at [email protected]