In spite of Brexit – green light for the Unified Patent Court

Although the future of the European Unitary Patent remains undetermined was considered to be unresolved due to Brexit the British Government now decided in a conference of the EU council on November 28, 2016 to start with the preparations for ratification.

The British Secretary of State for Intellectual property, Baroness Neville Rolfe, declared that as long as the UK was a member of the EU the UK would continue to play a full and active role. In the coming months, the UK would continue with the preparations for the ratification. The UK would cooperate with the preparation committee in order to bring the Unified Patent Court (UPC) into operation as soon as possible.

The Unitary Patent can only be established until at least 13 member states have ratified the UPC-treaty. This definitely needs Germany, the UK and France to be included. Eleven states, including France, have already ratified the treaty and Germany has anticipated the ratification in 2017.

Hence, an entering into force can be expected in 2017.

Following the resignation of the UK it is, however, controversial if the UPC-treaty remains unchangeably valid since Article 1 of the treaty only comprises participating member states of the EU in the current version.

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