article / 28 Feb 2020

UP/UPC Update: The United Kingdom appears resolved to leave the UP/UPC

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Yesterday, the British government published in a position paper its approach to negotiations on the future relationship with the EU. In point 71, it states on intellectual property including patents that the UK is open to discussing mechanisms for cooperation and exchange of information on issues of mutual interest. At first glance, this appears to open for discussions on UK participation in the UP/UPC. At the same time, the overall policy point 5 expresses a clear aversion to any jurisdiction of the Court of Justice of the European Union.

Read the position paper here.

Yesterday evening, IAM Media published the unconventional news that the UK government in an email to this blog confirmed that the UK will not be seeking involvement in the UP/UPC system since participating in a court that applies EU law and is bound by the Court of Justice of the European Union is inconsistent with the UK’s aims of becoming an independent self-governing nation.

Read the blog post here.

This informal expression of intent indicates that the UP/UPC system would have a smaller scope of application than expected (albeit that Italy’s accession a few years back was a surprise to many). At the same time, European and British industry has after the UK referendum repeatedly expressed its preference for UK participation but also the position that the system will be attractive also without the UK. The viability of the project should thus not be endangered by the UK’s withdrawal from the EU. Rather, what the market is waiting for are answers from the federal German constitutional court.

The blog show took place before the coming negotiations between the UK and EU27 on a future relation.

Read more about the UP/UPC system here.

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