UK Ratifies UPC Agreement – but Three Is a Magic Number


By Rachel Pearse

On World IP day (26th April 2018) the news broke that the UK Government had ratified the Unified Patents Court Agreement (UPCA). The UPCA has already been ratified by France and shall enter into force once ratified by three signatories. All eyes are now on Germany (who have not yet ratified the UPCA) to now do so. There is a fly in the ointment however; Germany's ratification is likely to be delayed due to a challenge made to the German Federal Constitutional Court that the ratification of the UPCA would be unconstitutional. This is a major set-back for Germany and threatens to significantly delay (or potentially even derail) the UPCA.

The UPCA is governed by an international treaty outside of the EU. It is therefore not impacted by Brexit. The ratification of the UPCA is a bold move by the UK Government and will ensure that the UK continues to play a major role in influencing the international systems for enforcement of patents.

The Minister for Intellectual Property, Sam Gyimah MP, has today (26 April 2018) confirmed that the UK has ratified the Unified Patent Court Agreement (UPCA). Our ratification brings the international court one step closer to reality. The Agreement on the Unified Patent Court (UPC) is an international treaty. The international court will have jurisdiction over patent disputes across its contracting states.
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