At the Competitiveness Council meeting today the UK announced that it intends to ratify the UPC Agreement and stated in a press release that:
“The UK will continue with preparations for ratification over the coming months. It will be working with the Preparatory Committee to bring the UPC into operation as soon as possible.”
This is in many ways an unexpected development, and certainly a result few would have predicted on 24 June. The necessary legislation will have to pass through Parliament, and there is also a longer term question mark over the nature of the UK’s participation in the system post-Brexit. However, it now seems almost inevitable that the UPC will become a reality in 2017, most likely in the autumn, meaning that the preparations which most users had put on hold will now have to be re-started as a matter of some urgency.
See here for the full text of the UK IPO’s press release, and for more information from Bristows see here.