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Patents

Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy written question – answered on 11th December 2017.

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Photo of Bill Esterson Bill Esterson Shadow Minister (Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy), Shadow Minister (International Trade)

To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what assessment he has made of the jurisdiction of the European Court of Justice in relation UK patents before the Unified Patent Court after the UK leaves the EU.

Photo of Jo Johnson Jo Johnson Minister of State (Department for Education) (Universities and Science) (Joint with the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy), Minister of State (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy) (Universities and Science) (Joint with the Department for Education)

The Unified Patent Court will be an international court with jurisdiction over patent disputes across multiple states. The Court will draw on multiple sources of law when making its rulings and is bound to follow relevant EU Law. Consequently it will be able to send queries (through preliminary references) to the Court of Justice of the EU on the correct interpretation of EU law. The Court of Justice of the EU is not an appellate court of the UPC, which has its own Court of Appeal.

Although the Court is not an EU institution, it is established under an international agreement that is presently only open to EU Member States. Our future relationship with the Court will therefore be subject to negotiation with our European Partners, in order to reflect the UK’s changing status, as we leave the EU. It would be wrong to set out unilateral positions in advance of those negotiations, which have not yet begun.

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