Bonum Certa Men Certa

Jo Johnson: UPC Agreement is “Currently Only Open to EU Member States” (i.e. Britain Cannot Join or Ratify)

But rumours say he might try to ratify in a rush, without a proper debate, just before Article 50 is invoked (either this coming week or by month's end)

Jo Johnson



Summary: Even the person whom many inside the echo chamber of Team UPC believe will ratify the UPC admits that it's a European Union-type treaty (agreement), which therefore cannot co-exist with Britain's intent to exit the Union (and potentially crack/split the United Kingdom too)

THE EPO has not been saying much about the UPC recently; they too probably realised that they need to keep it under the radar because the more people out there find out, the greater the backlash will be. But even British politicians are starting to find out what's going on, in part because we inform them, one way or another. We have some plans for next week and we expect many more signatures to land on this petition. The UPC still faces many legal barriers here and I'll probably make some phonecalls on Monday (e.g. to political parties). We can definitely end the UPC for good (at least in the UK) by this month's end.



"We can definitely end the UPC for good (at least in the UK) by this month's end.""The #UPC #Brexit discussion heating up again," one person wrote the other day. "1 half of #IP community: "everything is in order". Other half: "How is this even happening?""

Maybe half of them still believe Team UPC. Based on a recent survey, most patent professionals don't believe Team UPC, which likes to mislead everyone with rosy predictions and baseless forecasts.

The "British political journalists are beginning to pick up on the UPC and Brexit," IAM warned the other day (after it had done a lot of pro-UPC propaganda). "This is good from @IanDunt," it said, citing an article we remarked on a few days ago.

"Even Jo Johnson, who is supposed to grok such things (but is probably too young and inexperienced to grasp it all), suddenly realises that the UPC is untenable. "Ian Dunt said "Nowhere near enough of you are reading my article about patents & Brexit. Do you understand the pain I went through?"

Covering patent-related issues and reading (while comprehending) is not easy. We chose to cover a very 'niche' topic here in Techrights because it is a very important and often under-appreciated/neglected topic. There are some comments on this tweet from Russell Barton‏. As we already noted the other day (as did others), Dunt hadn't gotten all the facts right. But it's not easy, to be fair to him, as British politics, EU politics, and patent laws intersect in truly complex ways. Even Jo Johnson, who is supposed to grok such things (but is probably too young and inexperienced to grasp it all), suddenly realises that the UPC is untenable.

After IP Kat had done some weird things -- like relaying of Bristows' UPC agenda -- this new comment (from yesterday) says:

Am I to conclude that the Kat has lost its tongue on the UPC?

My previous enquiry on this point (http://ipkitten.blogspot.co.uk/2016/12/mini-upc-update-uk-signs-protocol-on.html?showComment=1486978703716#c3870820495469588050) elicited no response.

Now it appears that there has been further discussion of the UPC in the media. http://www.politics.co.uk/blogs/2017/02/28/patent-law-theresa-may-s-new-brexit-battlefield

Jo Johnson has also formally admitted that the UPC Agreement is "currently only open to EU member states". http://www.parliament.uk/business/publications/written-questions-answers-statements/written-questions-answers/?house=commons%2Clords&max=20&member=1527&page=1&questiontype=AllQuestions

Maybe I can accept that none of this is "big" news in the IP world. However, I am struck by the curious lack of commentary (both here and in the "mainstream" media, even including rabidly pro-Brexit papers such as the Daily Mail) on issues raised by the UPC, such as how on earth the UK can stay in the UPC... or even how the UPC can be made to function, post-Brexit.

I have heard some hand-waving bluster from various individuals on this point, but nothing whatsoever in the way of serious, reasoned and robust analysis. With the UK seemingly intent on signing up to a venture that will lead us all into the unknown (and potentially on a very bumpy ride for patentees and interested 3rd parties), I find the lack of analysis on this point very troubling indeed.

Not being someone who is prone to believe in conspiracies, I would like to think that there is no self-censorship going on at IPKat on this issue. But it would be nice to have some evidence to support this belief.


Give it up, Johnson. The UPC is not compatible with Brexit and trying to 'hack' or work around the law would simply discredit the whole ludicrous concept of "taking back control" or obeying the law.

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