UK legislation in place to ratify UPC Agreement

February 11, 2018

The UK’s Privy Council approved the draft Order on Privileges and Immunities of the Unified Patent Court on the 8th of February, meaning that that the UK has all legislation ready to ratify the UPC Agreement.

The Order was already approved by both Houses of Parliament late 2017, meaning that the last step needed is for the Order to go back to the Houses of Parliament to take effect. The expected date for this is the 15th of February. After that, the UK is legally ready to ratify the Protocol on Privileges and Immunities (PPI) and the UPC Agreement.

The Order provides the Court and its staff the necessary privileges and immunities when it is established in London. The UK is one of four countries to host a division of the Court and therefore has to deposit its instruments of ratification. The Scottish equivalent of the Order was approved by the Privy Council on the 13th of December.

The final step towards actual ratification, a letter by the Foreign Secretary (Boris Johnson) stating the UK will be bound by the Agreement, is a political one which is related to the Brexit negotiations. It is not clear if or when this will happen.