Brexit and the latest developments in the Preparatory Committee
On 24 June the results of the UK referendum on EU membership were announced and a majority of the British electorate voted to leave the EU. It is at this moment still uncertain what the impact of this will be on the UPC Agreement and unitary patent. If the UK ratifies the UPC Agreement before actually leaving the EU, the UPC can start once Germany has also ratified as the required number of ratifications will then be reached. If the UK does not ratify the UPC Agreement, the project will likely suffer significant delays because, as long as the UK is still formally a member of the EU, the UPC cannot open its doors unless the UK has ratified the Agreement. The process of leaving the EU is likely to last two years once Article 50 of the Lisbon Agreement has been invoked.
Thursday 30 June the Preparatory Committee of the UPC conducted its 17th meeting in Stockholm and discussed the impact of the results of the UK referendum. A report of the meeting has been published here.The Committee has decided that it will continue its work in accordance with its mandate as long as the situation has not become any clearer.
In addition, the Committee has agreed on a number of slight amendments to the Rules of Procedure which find basis in the court fees that have now been adopted. Additionally, a draft budget of the Court has been endorsed and a Code of Conduct for representatives who appear before the Court has been agreed. The draft for this Code of Conduct has been prepared in a collaborative effort between EPLIT, EPLAW and epi.