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UK General Election – December UPC start date seems doubtful

April 2017

This morning the UK Prime Minister has called for a General Election on 8 June 2017.  Parliament will vote on this tomorrow.

Assuming the General Election goes ahead, under the Fixed-term Parliaments Act 2011, a Parliament is dissolved 25 working days before a general election. For example, for the General Election which took place on 7 May 2015, Parliament effectively ceased operating from 26 March 2015. If a similar timetable is followed, it would seem likely that no Parliamentary business will take place after next week.

In order for the UK to ratify the UPC Agreement, UK legislation on privileges and immunities for provisional application of the UPC Agreement was to be laid before Parliament just after Easter. The UKIPO had commented that with that timetable in mind, they were “fully on track” for the court to be operational in December 2017. However, now we have to take a General Election into account, this legislation will most certainly be delayed. This would mean that the UK’s ratification of the UPC Agreement is most likely also delayed and the start date for the UPC of December 2017 seems doubtful.

It is disappointing that uncertainty around the UPC timetable has returned – as soon as we have more news, we will circulate it.

This update was prepared by HGF’s Profession Support Director Estelle Senior, based in our Sheffield Office. If you would like further information please contact Estelle or visit our Contact page for your nearest HGF office.

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