The IP Federation has today reported here that a note Intellectual Property (IP) law and Brexit, Summary of main requests for the UK government was sent on 22 December 2017 by the Law Society (the representative body for solicitors in England and Wales) to UK ministers and officials, including the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) and the Department for Exiting the European Union (DExEU). The note was written or supported by office-holders of organisations representing the main UK IP professions (IP solicitors, IP barristers and patent/trade mark attorneys) and the IP Federation (which represents the views of UK industry in IP matters). The note lists five key areas requiring government action to ensure continuity and certainty of IP law and to prevent disruption both to undertakings which use IP services and IP service providers. One of these areas is the Unitary Patent/Unified Patent Court Agreement and the note states that the government ‘should provide legal certainty regarding the UPC, and now do the following:

(a) confirm that it is the UK's intention to stay in the UPC, and that the UK is prepared to abide by the terms of the UPC Agreement, following Brexit;

(b) work towards the coming into effect of the UPC as soon as reasonably practicable in collaboration with other UPC Member States; and

(c) work with other UPC Member States and EU institutions to ensure there are no legal or practical obstacles to UK participation in the UPC and the Unitary Patent, following Brexit, on equal terms with other Member States.’

with the objectives of: ‘(i) continuation of the Court in London’ (London being the location of the section of the central division dealing with, inter alia, life sciences and chemistry); ‘(ii) continued involvement of UK national judges; and (iii) continued rights of participation of legal professionals qualified and based in the UK in all parts of the Court’s procedures on the same terms.’