< Back to latest news & events

UPC

UK intends to explore staying in the UPC and unitary patent system after the UK leaves the EU

July 2018

The UK government has reaffirmed its commitment to the UPC and unitary patent in the recent “Brexit White Paper”.

The paper’s section on Intellectual Property states that:

“The UK has ratified the Unified Patent Court Agreement and intends to explore staying in the Court and unitary patent system after the UK leaves the EU. The Unified Patent Court has a unique structure as an international court that is a dispute forum for the EU’s unitary patent and for European patents, both of which will be administered by the European Patent Office. The UK will therefore work with other contracting states to make sure the Unified Patent Court Agreement can continue on a firm legal basis.”

There is no detail regarding the political or practical steps that would need to be completed to fulfil this commitment, but a 2016 Opinion from Legal Counsel may hold some clues.  At that time, the view was expressed that the UK “could” continue to participate in the Unitary Patent and UPC by entering into a new international agreement with the participating EU Member States and amending the UPC agreement itself.  However, the complexity of the additional agreements and amendments that would need to put in place should not be underestimated.

As well as more detail from the UK on the practicalities of staying part of the UPC and unitary parent system after Brexit, the outcome of the legal challenge to the ratification UPC in Germany is also awaited.

Latest updates

Can AI replace patent attorneys?

OpenAI recently released a dialogue-based AI chatbot called ChatGPT, which is free for anyone to try out. You can try it here (https://chat.openai.com/chat). It’s been shown that it can set, …

Read article

HGF office closures in December 2022 and January 2023

Please note that our offices will be closed for business in accordance with national holidays on the following dates. Please plan accordingly and provide us with your instructions in advance …

Read article

Start of the UPC Sunrise Period delayed to 1 March 2023

The UPC sunrise period which was expected to start on 1 January 2023 has now been postponed to 1 March 2023. Consequently, the entry into force of the UPCA and …

Read article

Gender diversity at the UPC

In Europe, women remain grossly under-represented in research and innovation. A recent study by the European Patent Office (EPO) found that only 13.2% of inventors in Europe are women. The …

Read article
Event - 29th November 2022

LSPN Europe 2022

HGF is a silver sponsor of LSPN Europe 2022 on 29th November in London. This event will explore some of the biggest challenges facing the Life Sciences Patent Community right now …

Event details

Oral Proceedings by videoconference (VICO) in oppositions proceedings to become permanent

The pilot project for oral proceedings in opposition proceedings by video conference (VICO) started during the pandemic and has received positive feedback.[1] The President of the EPO has therefore declared …

Read article