Despite the recent delays to the Unified Patent Court (UPC) timetable reported here, secondary legislation necessary for the UPC has this week been laid before Parliament in the UK. The secondary legislation in question is an Order which would give effect in the UK to the UPC Protocol on Privileges and Immunities. Similar secondary legislation will also need to be approved by the Scottish Parliament. Nonetheless, this is a necessary step towards ratification of the UPC Agreement in the UK, and reaffirms the UK’s intention to ratify the UPC in due course.
Regarding timescales, the Scottish Parliament’s summer recess starts at the end of this week (1 July 2017) so the Scottish Order will not be able to be debated until the autumn now. Irrespective of when the UK finally ratifies the UPC Agreement, Germany’s constitutional challenge still appears to represent the most major UPC hurdle at present, both in terms of implementation and timescales. Both the UK and Germany still need to ratify the UPC Agreement before the UPC can become operational.