Yesterday, the UK Department for Exiting the European Union published a long-awaited White Paper setting out the government’s proposals for the future relationship between the UK and the EU. One of the many issues addressed in this document is the subject of the UK’s continued participation in the unitary patent and the Unified Patent Court (UPC) following Brexit. The government highlights the importance of continuing the long history of European cooperation in the field of patent protection and enforcement to protect businesses operating in and between the UK and the EU. The Paper confirms the UK’s intention to explore options to stay in the UPC and the unitary patent system on a firm legal basis. The nature of this legal basis will need to reflect the change in the UK’s legal status as a non-EU Member State, and will therefore be the subject of further negotiations between the UK and the other UPC Contracting States.
This new development once again confirms the UK’s commitment to the project to establish a unified European jurisdiction on patents, as already made clear by its ratification of the UPC Agreement.