The UK government is to go ahead with preparations to ratify the EU Unified Patent Court Agreement.

Minsters confirmed yesterday that they are to continue the process needed to realise the Unitary Patent and Unified Patent Court (UPCA), under which businesses will be able to protect and enforce their patent rights across Europe with a single patent and through a single patent court.

The UK is one of three mandatory ratifying countries, and one of the three seats of the new court. 

A Government announcement said "the UK will continue with preparations for ratification over the coming months. It will be working with the Preparatory Committee to bring the Unified Patent Court (UPC) into operation as soon as possible".

However "the decision to proceed with ratification should not be seen as pre-empting the UK’s objectives or position in the forthcoming negotiations with the EU".

UK Minister of State for Intellectual Property, Baroness Neville Rolfe commented: "The new system will provide an option for businesses that need to protect their inventions across Europe. The UK has been working with partners in Europe to develop this option.

"As the Prime Minister has said, for as long as we are members of the EU, the UK will continue to play a full and active role. We will seek the best deal possible as we negotiate a new agreement with the European Union. We want that deal to reflect the kind of mature, cooperative relationship that close friends and allies enjoy. We want it to involve free trade, in goods and services. We want it to give British companies the maximum freedom to trade with and operate in the single market – and let European businesses do the same in the UK."

Click here for a Journal online article on the prospects for the Agreement post-Brexit.