April 26, 2018 is a remarkable date: first it’s World IP Day celebrating IP around the world. Second, and this is unique, the British IP Minister Sam Gyimah MP announced that the UK ratified the Unified Patent Court Agreement (UPC Agreement). By doing so the UK agreed to be bound to both the UPC agreement and the UPC’s Protocol on Privileges and Immunities (PPI). The UPC will be a court common to the contracting member states within the EU having exclusive competence in respect of European Patents and European Patents with unitary effect.
In addition to Paris and Munich, London hosts a section of the Court’s central Division dealing with patents in the field of life sciences and pharmaceuticals. The way is now open for discussion about UK’s future within the UPC system after-Brexit. As of today, the UPC Agreement is ratified by 16 countries of the European Union.
To bring the Agreement into force, UK, France and Germany have to ratify the UPC Agreement and the PPI, now everyone is waiting for Germany, as France has already ratified.
Germany’s completion is currently on hold due to a constitutional complaint pending before the German Federal Constitutional Court. According to rumours abound in the German IP community this complaint might be dismissed and the ratification will be finished during this year.
It’s time to get ready for playing with the new system!