, General news

UK ratifies the UPC

Today, 26 April 2018, it was announced that the United Kingdom has ratified the Unified Patent Court (UPC) agreement. This brings the court another step closer to becoming a reality. The UPC would be welcome news to many of our clients, since it will bring major advantages both in terms of cost savings when applying for patents in Europe and during any subsequent litigation.

In order for the UPC to come in to force, France, Germany and UK have to ratify the UPC agreement together with 10 other countries. At this point, 16 countries have ratified, including France and UK. Here you can see the signatory states that have ratified so far.

Germany has not ratified yet, despite significant progress in early 2017. Just as the ratification process was drawing to a conclusion, a complaint was filed against the entire legislative package in the German constitutional court, and it remains to be seen how the court decides to rule on the complaint. Influential IP and legal organisations in Germany and elsewhere in Europe have expressed confidence that the complaint will be dismissed. A decision is expected during 2018, unless the German court decides to remit questions to the Court of Justice of the EU first.