Author: Daniel BYRNE
N0:2 of 2018
The UK may ratify the Agreement on a Unified Patent Court (the “Agreement”) prior to Brexit, or it may, alternatively, seek to join the Unified Patent Court (“UPC”) after Brexit. If it does the former without obtaining any assurances from the other contracting parties then it risks being ejected from the UPC at the moment of Brexit. If it does the latter, it will be attempting to join an existing organisation the rules of which will need to be changed to allow the UK membership, without being certain that the other contracting parties will think that this is a worthwhile exercise. As a result, the UK is between a rock and hard place when it comes to the timing of the ratification of the Agreement. What would seem to be key is to obtain the necessary assurances from the other contracting parties for continued membership of the UPC. It may be that these assurances are best extracted once the UK is in a position to ratify the Agreement.