Appleyard Lees

Unified Patent Court and Unitary Patent: the final steps?

1 December 2016

Two weeks after the shock referendum result on Brexit, Pippa Allen attended the Munich Conference: ‘Unified Patent Court and Unitary Patent: the final steps?’.  With the UPC facing at best, uncertainty regarding the UKs long-term membership and at worst, serious delay with UK not among its member states, a strong UK presence among the international delegates was evidence that the UK patent profession remains engaged with the future of the UPC and represents the very best in patent law and practice in Europe and worldwide.

This was the first opportunity for the UPC lawmakers to publicly speak out.  The tone was overwhelmingly of continued effort to ratification, ideally with the UK as a member state.  With a strategy of “business as usual”, Brexit was seen as just another in a number of setbacks successfully negotiated in bringing the UPC this far.  The take home message from the UPC lawmakers was that ratification remains possible if there is a political will.  The user community was called to voice their support.

The conference followed the scheduled programme, and showcased the advanced state of preparation for UPC.  The agreed recruiting procedure and remuneration package ensures that we can expect top calibre judges.  In a panel session featuring an international panel of judges, the easy cooperation and agreement gave confidence in the positive integration which the UPC can bring to European patent litigation.

The UPC is very much in tune with an increasing number of jurisdictions around the globe providing courts presided over by patent specialist judges assisted by technical judges or technical advisors. Speakers from Japan, South Korea, Switzerland and the US spoke of the success of patent specialist courts recently established in their jurisdictions.

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