It has been announced by UK IPO (United Kingdom Intellectual Property Office) that the UK will proceed with ratification of the UPC agreement.
It is expected that this process will take around 3 to 4 months, but this will mean that the new system could be up and running by the Autumn of 2017. This development is somewhat surprising, but signals that the UK government is still supportive of the proposed new system and sees it as a good thing for business.
It is not yet clear how the planned “BREXIT” will affect the UK’s status going forward, but again it appears that the UK government’s message is that Intellectual Property will be an important part of its negotiations with the EU.
The professional body of UK patent attorneys, the Chartered Institute of Patent Attorneys (CIPA) has obtained a legal opinion which indicates that the UK could remain part of the new system post BREXIT, but that this would require amendment of certain treaties and agreements. However, perhaps this move by the UK signals a real intent to try to ensure that the UK will be at the heart of the new system.
Paul Chapman, Head of Legal Practice