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20 September 2016
The Netherlands recently became the eleventh country to ratify the Unified Patent Court Agreement.
This marks a key point in the implementation of the UPC, as now only the mandatory ratification by Germany and the UK is necessary to bring the UPC Agreement into force.
Prior to the recent EU Referendum, the UK was expected to ratify the UPC Agreement in the near future, with Germany being the final state to ratify. However, given the uncertainty created by the result of the Referendum, things are less clear as to how implementation of the UPC will proceed. As described here there is considerable support within the UK for ratification to go ahead but there remains political uncertainty over the actions to be taken by the UK government.
In the meantime, both the UPC Preparatory Committee and EPO Select Committee are continuing their work towards implementing the UPC and the Unitary Patent as planned. For the time being, the UK remains a Member State of the EU and a Signatory State of the UPC Agreement. If the UK were to decide not to ratify the UPC agreement, the agreement would seemingly not come into force whilst the UK remains in the EU and would then require amendment which could cause further delay.
James Mitchell and Russell Barton
Electronics, Computing & Physics group
If you require further information on anything covered in this briefing, please contact James Mitchell (firstname.lastname@example.org; +44 207 940 3600) or your usual contact at the firm. This publication is a general summary of the law. It should not replace legal advice tailored to your specific circumstances.
© Withers & Rogers LLP, September 2016