Final legislative step necessary for the UK to ratify the UPC Agreement has commenced today

Secondary legislation to implement the Protocol on Privileges and Immunities to the UPC Agreement and to give the UPC its legal personality in English law was laid before Parliament today (see here). The UKIPO has also announced by email today that separate legislation will be laid before the Scottish Parliament in due course. The secondary legislation laid before Parliament today is in the form of affirmative orders, meaning that the legislation will be debated in both the House of Commons and the House of Lords. The separate Scottish legislation once laid will also be debated in the Scottish Parliament. The Privy Council's approval will also be required. Once this legislation has been passed, the UK will be in a position to formally ratify the UPC Agreement.

Given that Parliament is due to rise in less than four weeks' time on 20 July 2017 it is unlikely that the legislation laid before Parliament today will be approved until after Parliament returns from recess on 5 September 2017. The timing of the Scottish Parliament's approval of the necessary Scottish legislation is less certain given that the necessary legislation has yet to be laid before the Scottish Parliament. However, with a fair wind, these approvals will be in place by the early Autumn, and formal ratification of the UPC Agreement by the UK will then be able to take place, bringing us one step closer to the system (finally) coming into existence.

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