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November 28, 2016 -The Unitary patent could extend to UK

UK signals a green light for the ratification of the Unified Patent Court Agreement. The UPC should enter into force with the UK on board and the Unitary Patent could cover the UK territory.

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.

At the same time, Unitary Patents could be granted by the European Patent Office, covering all Contracting Member States of the UPC Agreement, including France, Germany, Italy and the UK.

An effective Brexit requires the triggering of Article 50 of the EU Treaty. Negotiations between the UK and the EU may last at least two years after the triggering of Article 50. During this time period it will be necessary to find appropriate ways so that Unitary patents could continue to cover the UK even after the UK has left the European Union.