UK takes key step towards implementation of the Unitary Patent and Unified Patent Court

10 July 2017

On 6 July 2017, the UK completed a key step towards implementation of the new Unitary Patent (UP) and the Unified Patent Court (UPC).

Before the new Unitary Patent system can enter into force, it is necessary for the UPC to have a “Provisional Application Phase” establishing the court, including completing the recruitment of judges. Thirteen European states (including the UK, France and Germany as mandatory states) are required to approve the protocol on the Provisional Application Phase. The UK did so on 6 July 2017, and so it only remains for Germany and three other European states to do the same, before the Provisional Application Phase may begin.

The final requirement before entry into force will then be the ratification of the agreement on the Unified Patent Court (UPC) by thirteen European states (again, including the UK, France and Germany as mandatory states). Only the UK and Germany remain to ratify. German ratification has been postponed pending a challenge in the domestic courts, details of which have not yet been fully released.

The UK’s approval of the protocol on the Provisional Application Phase may be considered to indicate the UK’s commitment to the UPC, and the political will to continue with ratification and implementation of the requirements for the Unitary Patent system.

Our Expert
George Tebbutt
George Tebbutt
Locations: Bristol (UK)

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