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IP Information & News

29 June 2017

United Kingdom Parliament Recommences Legislation to Ratify UPC Agreement

The United Kingdom Parliament has recommenced the additional legislation required to ratify the Agreement on the Unified Patent Court (UPC).

Most of the legislation required for the United Kingdom to ratify the UPC Agreement had  been passed before the recent break up of Parliament prior to the June General Election.  With Parliament now sitting again, the additional legislation required, the draft Unified Patent Court (Immunities and Privileges) Order 2017 and accompanying Explanatory Memorandum were laid before Parliament on 26 June 2017.  This commences a legislative process whereby the House of Commons and House of Lords will be required to pass the Order, followed by approval of Privy Council. 

The Order will allow the United Kingdom to ratify the Protocol on Privileges and Immunities of the UPC and the UPC Agreement. The UPC forms a separate jurisdiction to national court systems and the United Kingdom will be hosting  both a section of the Court’s central division and a local division.  The Orders are required under the law to give the Court legal personality in the United Kingdom and confer privileges and immunities on the Court.

The draft Order will be debated as and when time allows, and accordingly no date for the Order coming into law can be easily foreseen.  Nevertheless, the process has recommenced.  It is possible, given a fair wind, that the passing of the Order and then ratification of the UPC Agreement may occur later this year.

Whilst the United Kingdom may soon be in a position to ratify the Agreement, and France has already ratified, there is still the possibility of a delay coming from Germany, as reported earlier  .