The UK has ratified the Unified Patent Court Agreement. The Minister for Intellectual Property, Sam Gyimah MP, confirmed this today.

As was announced in a government press release: ‘Ratification brings the international court one step closer to reality. The Agreement on the Unified Patent Court (UPC) is an international treaty. The international court will have jurisdiction over patent disputes across its contracting states. It will deliver a single judgement in cross-border disputes between private parties over patents granted under the current intergovernmental system. This system is administered by the European Patent Office, who are responsible for granting future Unitary Patents.

The UK became a signatory to the Unified Patent Court Agreement in February 2013. For the court to come into being thirteen Member States must ratify the agreement. This includes the UK, France and Germany, France has already ratified in early 2014.

Intellectual Property Minister, Sam Gyimah MP said:

“The UK is overflowing with innovative businesses, with pockets of this innovation spread up and down the country. These businesses are the lifeblood of local economies by boosting income and creating jobs.”

“Ratification of this important Agreement demonstrates that internationally, as well as at home, the UK is committed to strong intellectual property protections. This will help to foster innovation and creativity, bringing our modern and ambitious Industrial Strategy to life.”

Innovative businesses will benefit significantly from the Unified Patent Court. It removes the burden of maintaining each patent within a number of separate countries. It also removes the requirement to assert rights before the court system of each state.

The unique nature of the proposed court means that the UK’s future relationship with the Unified Patent Court will be subject to negotiation with European partners as we leave the EU.

Ratification of the UPCA will keep the UK at the forefront of influencing the international system.’

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