The UPC has been in the spotlight in recent weeks, with the UK Intellectual Property Office reiterating its commitment to ratifying following the government's decision to trigger Article 50.

But, reports today (6 April) suggest it could be delayed until the summer. While many commentators expect the UPC to go ahead, Colin Baker examines the implications of the UK's decision to delay ratification:

“As the government begins the process of exiting the EU, the future of the UPC could be thrown into question with many expecting the UK to have ratified before Article 50 was triggered. While the UK has indicated that it intends to ratify, delaying such ratification until after the triggering of Article 50 opens up the possibility of the UK using ratification as a bargaining chip in the forthcoming Brexit negotiations.

“There is a risk that the original purpose and practicalities of the UPC could be overtaken by political brinkmanship. Businesses will be seeking clarification on the UK’s stance as soon as possible. It will also be interesting to see how Germany reacts and whether they will indeed ratify before the UK.

"Despite the prevailing uncertainty, businesses cannot afford to stand still and must consider their future filing strategies as the UPC could still become a reality if the UK and Germany give it the green light.”