UK approves provisional application of the UPC

The UK has deposited with the EU Council the document required to apply the Protocol to the Agreement on a Unified Patent Court (UPC) on provisional application​.
The UK has deposited with the EU Council the document required to apply the Protocol to the Agreement on a Unified Patent Court on provisional application. The Protocol allows some parts of the Unified Patent Court Agreement (UPCA) to take effect before the Unified Patent Court opens so as to provide a period of six months during which practical preparations for the opening of the court, including the recruitment of judges and court staff, and testing the IT and case management systems, can be completed. The phase also includes a sunrise period that begins three months before the court opens for business and during which it will be possible for patentees to request that any of their existing European Patents be opted out from the jurisdiction of the new court.

Provisional application will begin once 13 UPC member states, including France, Germany and the UK, have: (a) ratified or informed the EU Council that they have received parliamentary approval to ratify the UPC Agreement and (b) approved or declared to be bound by the protocol.

So far nine countries (Belgium, Denmark, Finland, France, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Sweden and the UK) have completed these steps. Austria, Bulgaria, Malta and Portugal have ratified the UPCA, but not yet signed or declared themselves bound by the Provisional Patent Application (PPA).

As reported in our article UK takes the final legislative step needed to ratify the UPC, the legislation needed for the UK to ratify the UPCA was laid before Parliament on 26 June 2017 and is expected to pass after the summer recess, with UK ratification expected to take place in late October 2017.

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