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January 2017 – Will the Unitary Patent extend to UK?

In her speech of January 16, 2017, Ms May indicated that the UK will take back control of the British national laws and bring an end to the jurisdiction of European Court of Justice (ECJ) in Britain.

Simultaneously, Jo Johnson, the new UK Minister of State for Intellectual Property has confirmed the UK’s decision to ratify the Unified Patent Court Agreement.

However, the wish of Ms May to refuse the jurisdiction of the ECJ, seems to render difficult an extension of the Unitary Patent protection to the UK after Brexit.

As a matter of fact, the Unitary Patent protection results from an EU Regulation and the European Court of Justice (ECJ) is responsible for any interpretation of such a Regulation.

Clarification of this situation will be necessary as soon as the UPC Agreement enters into force, so that owners of Unitary Patents know what kind of protection they will retain in the UK, after Brexit.