Strategies for opting patents out of the jurisdiction of the UPC must be crystallised now, particularly given the potentially complex due diligence that may be needed for some portfolios, say David Rose and Nina O’Sullivan of Mishcon de Reya.
Before the UK electorate voted in June 2016 to leave the EU, the new Unified Patent Court (UPC) and unitary patent regime had seemed on course to be operational from mid-2017. While many thought the Brexit vote threatened to derail the whole project or, at least, to introduce a significant period of delay, the UK government took many by surprise in November 2016 when it announced that it would proceed with its preparations to ratify the UPC Agreement.
In her statement, the Minister of State for IP at the time, Baroness Neville-Rolfe, said: “For as long as we are members of the EU, the UK will continue to play a full and active role. We will seek the best possible deal as we negotiate a new agreement with the European Union.
“We want that deal to reflect the kind of mature, cooperative relationship that close friends and allies enjoy. We want it to involve free trade in goods and services. We want it to give British companies the maximum freedom to trade with and operate in the single market—and let European businesses do the same in the UK.”
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