12 January 2017
London
Reporter: Barney Dixon

UK is committed to unitary patent, says Johnson


New UK intellectual property minister Jo Johnson has reaffirmed the country’s commitment to the unitary patent project, but warned that its future beyond Brexit will be the subject of future negotiations.

Speaking before the UK science and technology committee on 11 January, Johnson, who was confirmed as the new IP minister earlier that day, said that the UK’s participation in the unitary patent system could be valuable to British business.

The UK can participate in the unitary patent system because the Unified Patent Court (UPC) will not be an institution of the EU.

He said: “We have taken a decision to proceed with preparations to ratify the UPC Agreement. We believe it is important that we participate in this framework. It has value to UK inventors and businesses and we want to be there at its creation.”

When pressed further on the potential consequences of Brexit on the UK’s future participation in the unitary patent project, he said: “These are questions that will form part of the greater discussion of the Brexit negotiations.”

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