Friday, 14 October 2016

Labour asks about UK's intentions for unitary patent

The UK Labour party has sent a list of 170 questions to David Davis, the Secretary of State for Exiting the European Union. The list includes two questions on the unitary patent: questions 110 and 111. Also view WIPR's discussion here

110. Does the government intend to proceed with ratification of the EU agreement to establish a Unified Patent Court, in the agreement’s present form; and if not, what steps is the government taking to negotiate an alternative agreement to which it would be willing to sign up? 
111. If the Unified Patent Court (UPC) goes ahead, will the Human Necessities seat of its Central Division continue to be located in London, as prescribed in Article 7(2) of the UPC agreement?

The first questions reflects the basic choice the UK now has to make. Does it want to make an effort to stay in the unitary patent, and if not is it worth the trouble to ratify just to leave later on?

If the UK wants to stay in the unitary patent system after Brexit, it seems likely to me that some kind of agreement is needed. If not a new agreement outright  the users will need to see something on paper to restore confidence that their unitary patents will be valid in the UK.

Prime Minister Theresa May has said that she does not want to jeopardize her negotiation strategy. So I  don't expect too much of the answers. Who wants the unitary patent more: the continent or the UK? Could the unitary patent become a bargaining chip?

Photo by geralt via Pixabay under a CC0 license (no changes).