020 7405 4321

UK Announces Ratification of UPC Agreement

Thursday, April 26, 2018


The United Kingdom has announced that it has ratified the Unified Patent Court Agreement, potentially heralding one of the most significant changes in patent litigation in Europe for a generation. The announcement is here. The UK Government’s announcement suggests that the future of the UK’s relationship with the UPC may depend on further negotiations. The whole UPC project is also subject to some continuing uncertainty because of the continuing proceedings before the German Constitutional Court.

Members of 8 New Square have been closely involved in preparations for the UPC for some years, assisting in drafting the rules and establishing the pharmaceuticals and biotech central division in London, helping with judges’ training and participating in numerous preparatory events.

We will be briefing users more fully in the run up to the opening of the court, covering all aspects of the procedures. Many of the UPC’s procedures are modelled on English law but they involve a blend of national traditions. Some of the key early issues for the court will involve questions of EU law and jurisdiction as well as a need to work out fundamental aspects of procedure such as the approach to interim injunctions and how evidence is to be dealt with. The UPC will become more of a “one-stop shop” for Europe, affecting patents and commercial activities of major value. That will make it more important that these rules are well developed in the early years. Members of Chambers have been involved in almost all of the leading cases in patent procedure in intellectual property, both in the UK and the EU courts and have a mix of experience in various tribunals, including the EPO. We already work very closely with lawyers and patent attorneys throughout Europe already and are looking forward to helping make the new system a success for users around the world.”