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UK’s preparations for the Unified Patent Court are back on track

26 June 2017

The UK has set in motion the legislative process to remove the final legal impediment to ratification of the UPCA.

The UKIPO has confirmed today that the Unified Patent Court (UPC) related Statutory Instrument (the “Order on Privileges and Immunities”) has been laid before Parliament, alongside equivalent legislation for Scotland being scheduled for discussion in the Scottish Parliament. Once the legislation has been passed, the UK will be able to ratify the UPCA. This is significant because ratification by the UK is compulsory for the UPC to begin operation.

Previously, the final steps to be taken by the UK were expected to be completed before the end of May. However, the announcement of the snap general election in the UK meant that this was no longer possible. This development in the UK, alongside developments elsewhere, led to the UPC’s Preparatory Committee announcing here that the original timeline for introduction of the UPC and the UPCA had to be pushed back. The delays caused by the general election could have been significant but it appears that things have picked up right where they left off before Parliament dissolved on 3 May 2017.

The steps being taken in the UK are not the only remaining hurdle for introduction of the UPC. A constitutional complaint raised by a private person in Germany may cause delays to German preparations. Germany is the other country whose ratification is required before the UPC comes into force. At this time, very little is known about the details of the complaint, or the length of any delays it may cause, but we will post updates to our news page.


James Mitchell and Russell Barton
Electronics, Computing & Physics group

If you require further information on anything covered in this briefing, please contact James Mitchell ( ; +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, June 2017