Following the UK government’s announcement on 28 November that it will continue with preparations to ratify the Unified Patent Court (UPC) Agreement over the coming months and to work with the UPC Preparatory Committee to bring the UPC into operation as soon as possible, the UK IPO has formed a new project team to deliver this work. The team is led by Liz Coleman (Divisional Director, IPO) and includes Dr Laura Starrs (Policy Lead), Helen Treharne (Communications) and Jonathan England (Operations Manager Aldgate Tower - where both part of the Central Division and the UK Local Division of the UPC will be located). The team is working with two other government departments (the Foreign and Commonwealth Office and the Ministry of Justice) to ensure the necessary legislative requirements and logistics are in place for the entry into force of the UPC system.

One important remaining step in the UK ratification’s process took place yesterday in Brussels with its signing of the Protocol on Privilege and Immunities (here), and UK legislation to give the UPC in the UK the appropriate privileges and immunities is currently being drafted to be laid before Parliament early next year.

A meeting of the Executive Group of the UPC Preparatory Committee, which Liz Coleman will attend, is scheduled for 11 January. On the same day the Preparatory Committee’s Interim Group, tasked with solving more practical issues, is meeting.