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Impact on the long-awaited European Unitary Patent project - an update

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12 December 2016

​In February 2016, we published a paper discussing the potential impact of the United Kingdom leaving the European Union on the long-awaited Unitary Patent and Unified Patent Court (UPC) system.

On 23 June 2016, the UK electorate voted (by a margin of 51.9% to 48.1%) to leave the EU. The result of the referendum, and several other developments since, threw the future of the Unitary Patent project into serious doubt. To the surprise of many, however, on 28 November 2016 the UK Government indicated that it will proceed with ratification of the underlying UPC Agreement (UPCA). In this paper we summarise these developments and the likely ramifications. Notwithstanding the Government’s announcement, there remain several legal and political question marks regarding the UK’s ongoing involvement in the UPC system.

This article is one of a series of specialist Allen & Overy papers on Brexit and the UPC. To read these papers as they become available, please visit: www.allenovery.com/brexit and www.allenovery.com/upc.

For further details please click here.