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Should inventors be worried by UK opting out of Unified Patent Court? Lords Committee to find out

Following last week's announcement that the Government will not be seeking participation in the Unified Patent Court system, the House of Lords EU Justice Sub-Committee will examine what impact this will have both on businesses and inventors in the UK and on the Court.

The system, which is in the process of being established, will allow inventors to apply for a single patent that will then be recognised by all participating states. The UK Government had been a key player in the creation of the system, and one of the divisions of the Unified Patent Court was going to be based in London. Since Brexit, the Government has repeatedly emphasised its commitment to the Court and, as the Court is being established outside of European Union institutions, many in the industry were hopeful that the UK could continue to participate.
However on the 28 February the Prime Minister's spokesman said that UK would not be seeking involvement in the UP/UPC system as “Participating in a court that applies EU law and bound by the CJEU is inconsistent with our aims of becoming an independent self-governing nation.”
The Committee will take evidence on this at 10:45am on Tuesday 10 March in Committee Room 3 of the House of Lords. Giving evidence will be: 

  • Julia Florence, Chartered Institute of Patent Attorneys
  • Daniel Alexander QC, a leading interlectual property Barrister. 

Questions the Committee will put to the witnesses include: 

  • Why development of the Unified Patent Court was pursued outside the EU's formal structure and why was it necessary to pass EU legislation in support of the Agreement?
  • The nature of the formal relationship between the Unified Patent Court and the Court of Justice of the EU.
  • Could aspects of the United Patent Court be amended to allow the UK to participate while maintaining is ‘red line' over EU Court of Justice jurisdiction? 
  • The impact on business in the UK if we do not particpate in the establishment of the United Patent Court. 
  • If the UK does not participate in the Court is it likely it will still go ahead without us given the prominent role the UK has played in ratifying agreement for the its creation.

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