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Unitary Patent Court to gain a Brexit exemption

The UK Government has announced, via the Intellectual Property Office (IPO), that the UK will ratify the Unitary Patent Court (UPC). Once active, the Court will determine disputes arising out of the newly created EU patent which will be valid across the EU and the UK.

There had been question marks over the Court’s presence in the UK, as it has a fundamental principal at odds with one of the key pillars of the Government’s Brexit position: referral to the European Court of Justice in cases that hinge on the interpretation of EU directives.

Sam Gyimah MP is now in charge of Intellectual Property matters as part of his role as Minister of State for Universities, Science, Research and Innovation. He has followed the IPO’s lead in recommending the approval of an order on the privileges and immunities for the UPC, which was subsequently (on 8 February 2018) approved by the Privy Council. That order can now be moved in the Houses of Parliament, and then be formally signed off by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office.

The announcement that the Court will hold jurisdiction in the UK comes as a relief to intellectual property practitioners, who have been keen not to see the hard work that has gone in to its implementation go to waste.

If you have any questions on the above, please do not hesitate to contact the team at McDaniel & Co. on 0191 281 4000 or legal@mcdanielslaw.com.