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The long-awaited European Unitary Patent project is scheduled to go live in early 2017 – we assess the likely impact of a Brexit

17 February 2016

​The proposed Unified Patent Court (UPC) system and the associated Unitary Patent will offer businesses the opportunity to obtain a single, unitary patent valid in 25 EU Member States and to enforce their European patent rights, including existing, country-specific European patents, on a pan-European basis. Single UPC judgments will potentially cover all the 25 participating Member States. The UK is a participating Member State and has been one of the major drivers of this project, which offers an easier, more cost-effective and streamlined way to protect and exploit patent rights in Europe. A Brexit would put an end to the UK’s involvement, with the result that the new Unitary Patent would not cover the UK, and UPC judgments would not extend to UK patents – a separate judgment would need to be obtained to cover UK patents.

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