Preparations for entry of the Unified Patent Court (UPC) into force have recently seemed to be proceeding at full speed.  This is despite the fact that the UPC cannot commence operations until the UK ratifies the UPC Agreement, which is now doubtful in light of the result of the “Brexit” referendum.


As well as a string of countries ratifying the UPC Agreement in the wake of the “Brexit” vote, the UPC also appeared to be continuing preparations to recruit and train judges.  Now, however, it seems that the UPC has bowed to political inevitability and has, at least for the time being, postponed the appointment of judges, with no clear indication given of when this process is expected to resume.


The resumption of recruitment – and the entry into force of the UPC – now seem to depend in large part on the timing of the UK’s withdrawal from the EU and a decision on whether or not the UK will seek to remain part of the UPC system.


“The original timetable for recruitment of UPC judges was to complete interviews and make appointments early in 2017. The current timetable is being revisited in the light of the result of the referendum in the UK”