November 28, 2016 - Is Brexit really Brexit?
At the last Competitiveness Council of 28 November, the UK Minister of State for Intellectual Property, Baroness Neville-Rolfe, stated that the UK government will ratify the Unified Patent Court Agreement.
This means that the UPC Agreement could enter into force before the UK effectively leaves the European Union, following the result of the referendum of June 23, 2016.
This also means that the UK government is ready to recognise the necessary cooperation of the Unified Patent Court with the European Court of Justice (ECJ) in view of the uniform interpretation of Union law.
It is true that the Unified Patent Court is the result of an International treaty and is therefore not really a court of the European Union. Nevertheless, the Unified Patent Court has the duty to ask the ECJ for preliminary ruling on any question related to the Union law. This could particularly concern the Unitary patent for which the Unified Patent Court has exclusive jurisdiction.
The decision of the British government to ratify the Unified Patent Court Agreement already now, before an effective leave of the United-Kingdom from the EU, seems to imply a relatively flexible approach of the effective « Brexit » and must therefore be welcomed.