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Next step towards Unified Patents Court

Written by Ellis Sweetenham on 16 January 2016

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The UK Intellectual Property Office has conducted a technical review and has asked for opinion in relation to draft secondary legislation.

The draft legislation in question is proposed changes to the Patents Act 1977 to introduce the Unitary Patent and the Unified Patents Court.

The United Patent Court Agreement was signed in 2013 by the UK and the 24 other EU member states. The aim of this agreement was to create consistency across Europe and to allow each member state to apply the law evenly.

The secondary legislation is very important as it gives the power to amend the original legislation to filter in the changes needed to ensure the UK is compliant with the Agreement. The ability to make the proposed changes to implement the UPC Agreement is provided for through section 88A of the Patents Act 1977, and the changes for the Unitary Patent Regulation through the power in section 2(2) of the European Communities Act 1972.

The Government has released their response to the opinions given in the technical review and has taken them into account in relation to each section separately. In some circumstances they have taken on board the comments and have made amendments to the original drafting whereas with other section they have given their reasons for leaving the drafting the same.

A complete explanation of all opinions given as well as the governments response can be found here: https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/492089/government_response_and_call_for_evidence.pdf

This is one step closer to the implementation of the Unified Patents Courts which is said to be during this year, 2016. 

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