Despite the UK’s Brexit vote, the preparations for the Unitary Patent and the Unified Patent Court will go on as planned. The UPC Preparatory Committee and the EPO Select Committee have declared this in a joint statement, issued on 1 July 2016.
According to the statement, ‘last week’s vote in the United Kingdom in favour of leaving the European Union has given rise to questions concerning the future of the Unified Patent Court and the Unitary Patent Protection.
At this stage it is too early to assess what the impact of this vote on the Unified Patent Court and the Unitary Patent Protection eventually could be. This will largely depend on political decisions to be taken in the course of the next months. (…)
Pending more clarity about different possible scenarios the chairmen of the Preparatory Committee and the Select Committee are of the opinion that the work dedicated to the technical implementation should continue to progress as envisaged, in accordance with the mandate of both Committees and in line with the clear wish of the user community to bring the Unified Patent Court and the Unitary Patent into operation as soon as possible.’
Earlier this week, the UPC Preparatory Committee had already announced that the recruitment process of judges would not be delayed by the Brexit vote, and those who were ’interested in applying for a judicial position as outlined in the vacancy notice’ should submit their application by 4 July 2016.
The Preparatory Committee held its 17th meeting on 30 June in Stockholm, Sweden, where it visited premises of the Regional Division of the UPC which is co-located with the District Court of Stockholm. It ‘endorsed a number of papers, namely a set of rules on financial management during the period of provisional application, how to structure the corporate functions, and regulations relating to judges and staff.’ Apart from this, the Committee ‘agreed on a set of consequential amendments to the Rules of Procedure following the previous agreement on the court fees and on a Code of Conduct for representatives who appear before the Court.’
On 29 June 2016, a protocol on privileges and immunities to the UPC Agreement was signed by representatives of member states in the margins of a meeting in Brussels.
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