IP Minister confirms UK’s non-participation in UPC


As reported here, on 10 March 2020, following an evidence session on the Unified Patent Court (UPC), the House of Lords EU Justice Sub-Committee’s Chair wrote to the IP Minister, Amanda Solloway, asking whether she could confirm media reports that the UK would not be seeking involvement in the UPC system. Amanda Solloway’s letter in reply (here), dated 24 March, has been published by the Sub-Committee. In the letter, she confirmed that “the Government will not be seeking the UK’s continued participation in the Unitary Patent and Unified Patent Court.” Her explanation for that decision expanded slightly on that of the government spokesperson on 27 February (which the media had reported, i.e.“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.”). She referred to the government’s approach to future relations with the EU published on 27 February (here) ruling out any obligation for UK laws to be aligned with the EU’s or for the EU’s institutions (including the CJEU) to have any jurisdiction in the UK, and explained that continued participation in the UPC would mean “ceding jurisdiction over key patent disputes in the UK to a court that is bound to apply and respect the supremacy of EU law, including judgments of the CJEU” would be incompatible with that approach.

As reported here, the Sub-Committee has expressed its concern on the government’s decision.

Richard Pinckney


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