EU Patent Reform: The British ratification paradox,

Article on the recent political statements as regards a ratification of the UPCA in the United Kingdom and their legal implications (Published on 02/02/2017)

Most recently, statements with relevance for the ratification of the Agreement on a Unified Patent Court (“UPCA”) made by members of the British government caused astonishment. While the new British Minister of State for Intellectual Property, Joseph Johnson, underlined the ratification intent, Prime Minister Theresa May shortly afterwards, in her speech on the “Brexit” negotiations, defined a number of objectives which appear hardly reconcilable with such ratification. In this context, it is also of interest that, contrary to the political guidelines set by the previous Prime Minister Cameron and against the broad opposition of the professional circles, the CJEU can be expected to have gained an interpretation competence also in relation to material questions of unitary patent protection, as a consequence of the compromise in the dispute on former Art. 6 to 8 of the “unitary patent” Regulation. The following article describes the statements and their legal implications in more detail.

  • Download English version (Article of 02/02/2017)
  • Download German version (Article of 02/02/2017)


  • Link to the press statement of the British government “UK signals green light to Unified Patent Court Agreement” of 28/11/2016
  • Link to the recording of the hearing in the Science and Technology Committee of the House of Commons on 11/01/2017
  • Link to the article by Prof. Thomas Jaeger “Reset and Go: The Unitary Patent System Post-Brexit” at (PDF)
  • Link to the speech of British Prime Minister Theresa May of 17/01/2017 on “The government’s negotiating objectives for exiting the EU“
  • Link to IP Federation Policy Paper PP19/11 “Unitary Patent Protection Regulation – Articles 6-8” of 25/11/2011 (PDF)
  • Link to IP Federation Policy Paper PP2/12) “Unitary Patent Regulation and Unified Patent Court Agreement” of 23/01/2012 (PDF)
  • Link to the CIPA “Briefing Paper on European Patent Law Proposals“ of 06/12/2011 (PDF)
  • Council document EUCO 76/12 “European Council 28/29 June 2012, Conclusions“ of 20/07/2012 (English or German, PDF)
  • Council document 11959/12 “Proposal for a Regulation of the European Parliament and the of the Council implementing enhanced cooperation in the area of the creation of unitary patent protection – Approval of an amendment to the final compromise text” of 29/06/2012 (English, PDF)
  • Link to the protocol of Prime Minister Cameron’s statement in the House of Commons on 02/07/2012 on the European Council summit of 28-29/06/2012 and its results in relation to the European patent reform (Hansard)
  • “Der Zeitpunkt der Entscheidung war da” (”The time of decision had come”) – Interview by Catrin Behlau and Mathieu Klos of JUVE Rechtsmarkt with Klaus-Heiner Lehne (JUVE Rechtsmarkt 1/2013, p. 87 ff.) (English or German, PDF), published with the kind permission of JUVE GmbH
  • Link to CJEU decision C-146/13 of 05/05/2015
  • Link to the “Protocol on Privileges and Immunities of the Unified Patent Court” of 29/06/2016 (PDF)
  • Link to the Command Paper Cm 9405 “Protocol on Privileges and Immunities of the Unified Patent Court” (undated) (PDF)
  • Link to the “Explanatory Memorandum to the Protocol on Privileges and Immunities of the Unified Patent Court” (undated) (PDF)

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