“Richard Gordon QC of Brick Court Chambers, a recognised expert in Constitutional and EU Law, has issued advice on legal questions relating to the effect of Brexit on the UK’s participation in the Unitary Patent and the Unified Patent Court. His opinion makes clear that the major obstacles to the UK joining and remaining part of the UPC are political not legal.
A summary of his opinion is as follows:
- The UK may only continue to participate in the Unitary Patent by entering into a new international agreement with the participating EU Member States
- It is legally possible for the UK to continue to participate in the UPC after ‘Brexit’ and to host the Life Sciences/Chemistry section of the court, but changes would have to be made to the UPC Agreement
- The UK’s continued participation would require it to submit to EU law regarding proceedings before the Court. It would also need to sign up to an appropriate jurisdiction and enforcement regime
- It would only be possible to obtain a pre-emptive opinion from the Court of Justice of the EU on the legality of the UPC Agreement if the Union became a party to the Agreement
- If the UK ratified the Agreement, without amendment, and subsequently left the EU, the UK division would have to close.”
A PDF version of the full opinion can be found here :