UK Government urged to drive Unitary Patent ratification

BCC and Eurochambres have written to Business Secretary Greg Clark calling on the UK government to drive ahead with the ratification of the Unitary Patent Court Agreement.

Prior to discussions on the Unitary Patent at the 29-30 May Competitiveness Council, EUROCHAMBRES and the British Chambers of Commerce have urged the UK Government to do everything within its powers to facilitate the completion of the complex and lengthy ratification process, regardless of the general election and Article 50 negotiations.

The UK has a pivotal role to play in the ratification process as one of the leading countries involved when it comes to patent applications/validations. The current UK Government confirmed that it would proceed with ratification of the Unified Patent Court Agreement at the November 2016 Competitiveness Council, despite the outcome of the UK referendum on EU membership. However, this process has now been thrown into doubt by the announcement of a snap general election and dissolution of parliament.

In a joint letter to Greg Clark, the UK Business Secretary, whose department is responsible for intellectual property, EUROCHAMBRES and the British Chambers of Commerce (BCC) call on the Government to continue to play a positive and proactive role in the process in any way it can.

“The UK has been a strong proponent of the Unitary Patent for decades, so now that this process is so close to completion, we want the Government to go the extra mile in ensuring that the Unified Patent Court Agreement is ratified swiftly. What better way to demonstrate a constructive and business oriented attitude to the negotiations on Article 50 and post Brexit relations?”, said Arnaldo Abruzzini, CEO of EUROCHAMBRES.

Adam Marshall, Director General of the British Chambers of Commerce, said:

“Ratifying the Unified Patent Court Agreement is a no-brainer, as it would allow UK firms to protect their intellectual property in over two dozen countries with a single application, and reduce practical barriers to trade and export. As a longtime proponent of a Unified Patent, the UK government should commit to ratifying the agreement as soon as possible – and explore all avenues for the UK to continue to participate in the Unified Patent system after the UK leaves the EU.”

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