Bonum Certa Men Certa

A Lot More Fake News About the UPC, Trying to Convince People That the UK is Ratifying (It's Not, It Cannot)

Fake News Sites



Summary: Response to some of the latest misleading (self-serving) whispers about the fate of the Unified Patent Court (UPC), which is in a deadlock due to Brexit

Earlier this week somebody askedahead of a speech, "[Theresa] May to say that UK will leave the jurisdiction of the European Court of Justice? Surely that means no UPC??" Based on yesterday's [in]famous speech, it sure looks as though it's trouble for the UPC.



Here is the full comment:

May to say that UK will leave the jurisdiction of the European Court of Justice? Surely that means no UPC?? And does that mean no EU patent before reformation of the agreement? Germany may hold the key but others may challenge the location of courts, the fee structures etc. All in all, the fading away of DG3 may not be happening just yet. In which case, is Haar still a good idea...


The above comment was posted in a blog which became a part-time marketing rag of Bristows. Here is what another (next in line) new comment said:

IPKAT has kind lost its mojo with brexit... (and no I am not one of them just facing reality now).

Just saying but the EU/UK IP situation as it develops is the only real one for most UK readers.

The relevance of national decisions of courts of EU MS will decrease. I know there are other readers but still.

Now WTO blogs had better smarten up their act as that is where it will all be happening for UK readers in time. A lot of time.


Well, the whole UPC is now very much dependent on the UK and much of the fate of the patent system in EU is affected by that. Team UPC, as usual, relies on fake news and self-fulfilling prophecies (or attempts thereof). Christine Robben from Team UPC (Wolters Kluwer) now promotes her employer's latest lobbying-in-the-form-of-interview piece, whose headline is a selective quote. It starts like this:

Since the UK announced it wants to ratify the Unified Patent Court Agreement despite the Brexit vote (last week the new IP minister of the UK, Jo Johnson, repeated the announcement of his predecessor Baroness Neville-Rolfe), preparations for the system have restarted in full, despite the fact that a British membership brings about uncertainty. Prof. Dr. Thomas Jaeger, European law expert of the University of Vienna, is very critical of the way the UP system has been pushed through over the last years, most recently after the Brexit vote. Kluwer IP Law interviewed Dr. Jaeger.


Does the headline really respresent his views? In our view, the headline is very misleading. Is UPC now an "emergency"? If so, to who? To self-serving patent law firms such as Wolters Kluwer? Blood-sucking leeches that hope to tax engineers and other scientists who actually create stuff?

The UPC is not at all desirable, yet the patent microcosm (firms like Bristows) keeps misleading and lobbying politicians, this time Jo Johnson. Here is yet another go at it (via). It says: "IPcopy picked up on an interesting (self-)correction in the language that Jo Johnson used at this juncture when discussing the UPC statement. At one point he said that the UK had decided to ratify the UPC Agreement before he immediately clarified himself to say that we’d taken the decision to proceed with preparations to ratify the UPCA.

"This choice of language might mean nothing but given one of our earlier articles it did make me wonder just how far the UK will push the ratification process before the Brexit negotiations begin to bite. As a reminder, our earlier post here highlights the remaining actions for the UK to take before it can ratify. As of today’s date the secondary legislation mentioned in that post has not been advertised on the UK parliament website."

This is nonsense and some people close to the EPO got misled by articles like these. As a reminder, the UPC cannot start until the Brexit situation is settled, which may, based on May, take another couple of years. We kindly remind readers of the serious flaws in Lucy's intention to ratify -- whatever that actually meant. See the following series again:



Based on what a scholar told us yesterday, he too got misled and thought that the UK was already ratifying. That's just the power of fake news (or propaganda), some of which was paid for by the EPO. Also found this morning via Twitter is this article from a site which, based on its past record (e.g. regarding SUEPO), gets the facts very wrong! Here is what it says:

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.”


So it's still very much contingent upon Brexit and the headline of this article, "UK is committed to unitary patent", is almost totally bogus (he did not say such a thing, maybe they conveniently paraphrase and attribute that to him).

As we said yesterday, watch out for fake news about the UPC. There is plenty of it out there right now because of people with financial agenda (Bristows, for instance, bet the whole farm on it).

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