Earlier this week, the statutory instrument that will implement the newly developed Unitary Patent into UK law was approved by both the House of Lords and the House of Commons.
The Unitary Patent is a new concept developed in the European Union to improve consistency across all member states. After the details were approved late last year, the implementation of the statutory instrument brings the process along another step.
The statutory instrument has amended the Patents Act 1977 allowing the introduction of the new type of patent. The existing law in the UK needs to be changed when there is a new introduction of any EU development as to allow the citizens of the UK to use the law effectively and allows the courts to also interpret and apply it.
Following this step forward, Edward Vaizey, Minister for Culture and the Digital Economy states that the Unified Patent as a concept and the new Unified Patent Court should be completely ready to go in early 2017.
However, this is all dependant on the EU Referendum coming in the UK in the summer of this year. As the Unified Patent has arisen from the EU and its main aim is to create consistency across the member states, it is unclear but very unlikely that if the UK leaves the EU, the Unified Patent will still be part of UK law.
With its future still uncertain, the progress of the Unified Patent is one to watch.