Date: 30 April 2018
On 26 April the UK Minister for IP, Sam Gyimah MP, announced that the government has ratified the Unified Patent Court Agreement. The instrument of ratification was signed by Foreign Secretary, Boris Johnston, and deposited with the General Secretariat of the EU Council.
Ratification by the UK is not the last hurdle for the UPC and and the Unitary Patent system. Ratification by Germany is required, which is on hold pending resolution of a complaint before the German Federal Constitutional Court, scheduled on the Court’s diary to be heard at some indeterminate time in 2018. (It is one of 36 cases scheduled this year before the Court’s Second Senate.)
The system begins on the first day of the fourth month following ratification by Germany (and the provisional application phase begins earlier). With the UK leaving the EU on 29 March 2019, ratification now gives the UK the opportunity to get the system started and negotiate continued participation later.