UK Election likely to delay Unified Patent Court
21 April 2017
The unexpected announcement by Prime Minister Theresea May for a snap general election on 8 June 2017 could mean the UPC faces yet another delay, with a likely start date now pushed back to early 2018.
A Statutory Instrument needs to be passed by both houses of parliament in order for the UK to be able to complete ratification of the UPC agreement, but there is now almost certainly insufficient time for this to happen before parliament is dissolved on 3 May. Indeed, the UK Intellectual Property Office is quoted as saying that future steps will be for the next government to take, subject to factors including the parliamentary timetable. In this regard parliament will reopen on 13 June before the new session is formally opened by the Queen on 19 June. It will however close again for a summer recess between 20 July and 5 September, and so it remains to be seen whether the UK will be in a position to ratify before September 2017.