Despite the UK's Brexit vote in June, the preparations for the Unitary Patent and the Unified Patent Court had, until now, been continuing largely as planned.
The Preparatory Committee released an update on the preparations following the 18th meeting in Paris last week. The Committee used this meeting as an opportunity to discuss the road ahead given the uncertainty that has arisen due to Brexit. Two key decisions have now been taken as a direct reaction to the referendum vote.
1. Judicial Recruitment:
The original timetable for recruitment of UPC judges was to complete interviews and make appointments in early 2017. This timetable is now being revisited in the light of the result of the UK referendum, which the Committee acknowledge will "to some extent delay the entry into operation of the UPC".
The Committee has announced that, whilst candidate selection will continue, the commencement of the next phase (which would include calling candidates for interview) will be re-scheduled. The Committee has not mentioned when the process is expected to continue and has said that further updates about the time plan will be provided in due course.
2. New coordinator of the IT Working Group:
Dario Pizzolante from Luxemburg was elected the new coordinator of the IT Working Group and presented a paper to the Committee on future work to finalise the IT system. The previous coordinator was Neil Feinson of the UK Intellectual Property Office.