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The Unified Patent Court and the Unitary Patent

Navigating the new EU patent system

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The UK will not participate in the UPC confirms IP Minister responding to House of Lords’ letter

IP Minister Amanda Solloway has written to the House of Lords in response to their letter formally requesting confirmation that the UK would not be participating in the UPC. This request by the House of Lords followed a response given by the Government in February to a parliamentary question (recorded on Hansard) which said this was the case (see our post here); no formal statement had otherwise been made.

The IP minister's response was confirmatory - the UK will not take part in the UPC system. See the extract from her letter (of 24 March) below:

"As you will be aware the Government published our approach to negotiations with the EU on 27th February. This set out our vision for future cooperation between legally autonomous sovereign equals. It ruled out any obligation for our laws to be aligned with the EU's, or for the EU's institutions to have any jurisdiction in the UK. That explicitly included the Court of Justice of the EU.

Continued participation in the Unified Patent Court would mean ceding jurisdiction over key patent disputes in the UK to a court that is bound to apply and respect the supremacy of EU law, including judgments of the CJEU. Participating in such a system would be incompatible with our overall approach to future relations with the EU that I have set out above.

Consequently, the Government will not be seeking the UK’s continued participation in the Unitary Patent and Unified Patent Court."

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The Unified Patent Court (UPC) and the Unitary Patent (UP)

Now the UK has ratified the UPC Agreement and more than 12 other Contracting states have also ratified, Germany's ratification is all that stands in the way of the UPC becoming a reality.

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