UPC legislation clears Parliament

Following its consideration by the Grand Committee of the House of Lords last week, the Unified Patent Court (Immunities and Privileges) Order 2017 was formally approved by the House this afternoon.

All that now remains before the UK is formally able to ratify the UPC Agreement is for the Privy Council to approve the Order (and its Scottish counterpart). This is now expected to take place in January 2018.

Recent statements on behalf of the Government (Jo Johnson in the Commons and Lord Henley in the Lords) have implied that Britain's future in the UPC system will be a matter for negotiation as part of, or in parallel to, the Brexit arrangements. It will be interesting to see whether the UK proceeds directly to ratify the Agreement or instead whether this will be withheld as part of the negotiations, or until the pending German constitutional court case is resolved.