UK presses on with ratification of the UPC Agreement

June 2017

The UK is pressing on with legislation that is required for the ratification of the UPC Agreement by the UK; secondary legislation in the form of an Order on Privileges and Immunities for the Unified Patent Court were laid in Parliament under the International Organisations Act 1968 today (26 June 2017).

Separate legislation will be laid in the Scottish Parliament in due course.  This is the final legislative step in the UK’s ratification procedure and once it has been passed the UK will be able to formally ratify the UPC Agreement.

The update from the UKIPO’s UPC taskforce (in full below) does not speculate on when the UPC may open, but it acknowledges that the provisional timetable for entry into force of the UPC (1 December 2017) could not be met. 

Whilst this signals a positive step from the UK, given that only 10 days ago, it was reported that German ratification of the UPC agreement was in doubt following a complaint that ratification could be “unconstitutional”, the current timetable for opening of the UPC is still anything but clear.

Copy of the UKIPO’s UPC taskforce update:

“Unified Patent Court News Update 26 June 2017:The Unified Patent Court (Immunities and Privileges) Order 2017

Secondary legislation in the form of an Order on Privileges and Immunities for the Unified Patent Court were laid in Parliament under the International Organisations Act 1968 today. Separate legislation will be laid in the Scottish Parliament in due course.

This is the final legislative step in the UK’s ratification of the Unified Patent Court. The Orders implement the Protocol on Privileges & Immunities and gives the Unified Patent Court its legal personality in UK law. The Orders are affirmative orders, which means they will be debated in each House of Parliament. Separately the Scottish Order will be debated in the Scottish Parliament.  They will also require Privy Council approval. Once this legislation has been passed the UK will be able to formally ratify the UPC Agreement.

The Preparatory Committee of the UPC recently confirmed that the provisional timetable for entry into force (1 December 2017) could not be met. The Preparatory Committee is monitoring progress and will announce a new opening day in due course.”