back to article Europe's UK-backed Unified Patent Court 'could be derailed'

Europe's multi-million-pound Unified Patent Court could be derailed entirely following the UK's decision to leave the EU. The court was planned to open in 2017 and was intended to hear cases regarding infringements of European patents across EU member states. Only full membership of the EU allows countries to participate in …

  1. James 51

    Could always bilaterally take on all the regulations and costs. Maybe even build in a role on consultation for the UK when it comes to amending the rules. Lets all ask Boris, Gove and Farage what they think. Of course until negotiations can take place it's all just speculation on our part.

    1. AndyS

      Great idea! Let's add this to the list of things that £350M per week can fund!

      No doubt with that much money we'll not only be able to fund a new hospital every Tuesday, all the world's science, farms for everyone, 3 schools for every child and this new patent court, but also get rid of tax! And immigrants!

      Retake control! We're going to be so rich.

  2. Roger Greenwood

    It would be more viable as "Europe" rather than "EU" - over time allowing more countries to join as they like (think Eurovision with less noise).

    1. allthecoolshortnamesweretaken

      Including voting / giving points?

  3. Flocke Kroes Silver badge

    The UK is a full member of the EU

    The first step in changing that would be to invoke article 50 of the Lisbon treaty. I have yet to see legal evidence on what causes that. The PM says so? A vote in the house of commons? What ever it is, getting it to happen this year would be difficult. After that comes negotiation with the EU. While that is going on, the UK is still a full member of the EU. The negotiations could end in an agreement at any time - if all the EU states agree, the EU parliament votes yes, and if any part of the agreement is different for a particular member, the agreement is not complete until that member's parliament votes yes. If the negotiations continue for two years, they can be extended indefinitely and repeated by unanimous vote.

    The fast exits for negotiation are cave in on everything so the EU agrees before we change our minds, or irritate everyone for two years so we are kicked out without any agreement. Four years of negotiations are likely, and vaguely comparable agreements have dragged on for nine years.

    The house of lords got legal advice on the EU exit procedure, and published it here. It is not that big or complicated, and I hope fellow commentards will mercilessly down vote anyone who clearly neglected to RTFM.

    1. AndyS

      Re: The UK is a full member of the EU

      That's all great. So in lay-man's terms, nothing is likely to happen for 2-4 years.

      So, that completely of pulls the rug out from under a 2017 opening date. And since 1/3 of the funding is likely to be lost (not guaranteed of course, but likely), no sane person would bank on this project continuing.

  4. batfastad


    What a fscking mess. There'll be plenty more of these over the next 5-10 years.

    Thanks 1.1%

    1. Don Dumb

      Re: Sigh

      @batfastad - "Thanks 1.1%"

      That is Cameron's fault, he got to set the rules of the game and somehow set the rules up in the opposition's favour

      - He could have incldued 16/17 year olds or delayed the vote as late as possible to allow the demographics to swing his way; he could have set the bar at 67% majority and/or 75% turnout; he could have included permanent-resident non-UK passport citizens (those allowed to vote in local elections). Any of these would have improved his chances. Yet he was so unjustifiably confident that he didn't do any of these and we are all now paying for his hubris.

      TL:DR - Don't get upset at the result, get upset that the game was rigged.

      1. batfastad

        Re: Sigh

        Indeed and agree. It should have been Remain's to lose, by a long way, and somehow they managed it.

        A change to something as fundamental as the citizenship and right to work of 17m people (more if you include future spouses, descendents etc) should not be ultimately triggered by an opinion poll showing such a small margin though.

        It seems though that >1.1% voted Leave, because, well, foreigners and in the misguided assumption that what is printed on buses is scientific fact, without realising that an extra £350m (£150m after rebates) is a sausage down an alleyway when it comes to NHS budget (~£5bn/week IIRC), or Offence (~£1bn).

        What I'm most annoyed about is that people ultimately think that things will be any different for them. Economy, probably no real difference in the medium-long term. But the amount of hot-air, column inches, legal/consultancy fees and simple political time that's going to be expended on all this over the next 10+ years just seems like such a waste. The UK will negotiate almost similar terms, maybe with some notional wordage to stop new foreigns to appease a few Ukippers which won't even work in any practical way anyway, at likely a much higher cost per person than the current Mega Chicken Bucket EU package. Not to mention all the other spending which will have to increase. And then there'll be 20 years of building schools, power stations, train sets, airports etc to catch up on.

        And the UK will be run by... yep. Either the Oxbridge Blues or the Oxbridge Reds. Achievement unlocked - 200yr old establishment restored.

        I don't care which way people voted, so long as they don't vote on lies. It's clear that many people who voted Leave are not going to see anything like what they are expecting, if they are even around in 10-15 years' time to see the full conclusion.

        You think Ofcom would stand for this? Leave should have just said "up to £350m", sorted.

        1. TCook1943

          Re: Sigh

          So what makes your opinion more valuable than others?

          I assume you probably live in London/Home Counties & have a thoroughly suburban life style & a positive experience of EU membership. Most people don't!

          For those of us living in for example the Midlands, eg north of the Watford Gap, East Anglia & most of the rest of the country who live with the reality of unrestrained immigration bringing with it as it does all the ills and few of the benefits of EU membership its a totally different picture.

          Our young are not necessarily yuppies, can't afford to buy and are unable to find homes to rent because they have been taken by "deserving" immigrants straight from the back of the lorry.

          Oh & by the way I'm not a racist, just a realist who had to forgo a comfortable retirement to fund my daughters house purchase, I'm 73 & my mortgage will finally expire in December when I hope to be finally able to commence to save not for retirement but for planting.

          As one who remembers the hit our people took when we first joined the "Common Market" & who has finally been able to vote on the changes the EU introduced over 50 years without a UK vote I am frankly surprised the margin was so narrow.

          The freedom to return to our own subsidy program for British farmers saving chunks of money from going to French farmers and structure our own indirect taxation to suit us rather than Europe will compensate to a very large degree any short term additional cost increases, (Back in the day costs rose over a few weeks by up to 25% variable by commodity)

          Even potential runaway inflation has its appeal, our children would for example be able to pay off a substantial mortgage while still young enough to enjoy it as again back in the day did I.

          Only Scotland where even the indigenes have to be induced to reside is there presently space to spare though if they get their way there won't be for long.

          1. Don Dumb

            Winner of the "I'm not racist, but..." award goes to..

            "Our young are not necessarily yuppies, can't afford to buy and are unable to find homes to rent because they have been taken by "deserving" immigrants straight from the back of the lorry.

            Oh & by the way I'm not a racist, just a realist."

            Those people getting off "the back of the lorry" aren't *EU* citizens are they? No you're not a racist at all. You seriously think that by getting out of Europe it will change non-EU migration? And this despite the fact that EU countries already take in many more refugees than the UK. What Leave papers were oddly quiet to note is that the Leave campaigning Employment Minister Priti Patel was suggesting Vote Leave to asian communities as a way to increase immigration from the subcontinent.

            Are you sure that all Leave voters really want the same thing? Without a second referendum we won't know if the negotiated deal is really what all 52% voted for.

          2. strum

            Re: Sigh

            >who live with the reality of unrestrained immigration

            No you don't. Overwhelmingly, areas that saw little immigration voted Leave. Areas that saw lots of immigration voted Remain. You, and people like you, responded to irrational xenophobia, imagining that everything would turn out all right, if it wasn't for those damned foreigners.

            >Oh & by the way I'm not a racist, just a realist who had to forgo a comfortable retirement to fund my daughters house purchase

            Questionable. Immigration had nothing whatsoever to do with your daughter's house purchase. Indeed without all those Polish construction workers, there'd be significantly fewer houses for her to buy.

          3. H in The Hague Silver badge

            Re: Sigh

            "... unrestrained immigration bringing with it as it does all the ills and few of the benefits of EU membership its a totally different picture."

            Presumably there would be rather fewer immigrants if British people had the skills to work as plumbers or bricklayers. Or be prepared to work on farms. The minimum wage/living wage should ensure that immigrants cannot compete on wages. (Exception: I think the agency workers regs, introduced by the Conservatives, do enable undercutting wages - apparently that was to support businesses.) Incidentally I've got a friend with a mixed farm in Wiltshire and when he needed a stockman a year ago he couldn't find anyone locally so _had_ to hire a recent arrival from Poland - way less convenient in terms of language and familiarity with his farming practices than hiring a local.

            "The freedom to return to our own subsidy program for British farmers"

            Hmm, my farmer friend (in Wiltshire) was actually greatly in favour of Remain, felt safer with that than anything Boris/Nigel/Michael might come up with. And felt that Brexit would deny his children opportunities to work and study in Europe.

            "Even potential runaway inflation has its appeal,"

            Not if you are a saver or trying to make plans for your business.

            1. batfastad

              Re: Sigh

              There are many valid reasons for voting Leave.

              But my point is that I am certain more than the 1m majority voted Leave because they were under the impression that not only would immigration immediately stop. But that Farage would unveil a time machine and all foreigns already here from the last 30 years, including those with British-EU citizenship, would be immediately rounded up and shipped back to whereever they bl00dy well came from. I do not equate this to the active racism we have seen since the vote, sadly that is a vocal and angry minority.

              But I wonder what gave people that impression? Hint: check a montage of the last few years' of Sun/Daily Mail front pages, and that nasty fsck3r Farage.

              1. energystar

                Re: Sigh

                Are you saying that Paper Media had an actual weight on this?

            2. energystar

              Re: Sigh

              Migration has an enormous cost to both emitting and receiving Countries. Always better to invert on local human resources. This is a so cold view of economy that doubting about truly comprehensive, long term planing, EU side.

              This painful ripping could also occur within boundaries, as demonstrated by the maniac industrialization of China.

  5. NotBob

    Buisness as usual

    So keep spending the money even when we know it's doomed to fail?

    1. m0rt

      Re: Buisness as usual

      "So keep spending the money even when we know it's doomed to fail?"

      Government IT contractual procedure 101.

  6. bonkers

    Kill it with fire

    I may be paranoid, but I see this as a perfect single point of leverage to get the US and EU patent systems "aligned".

    From that point on we can expect a lot of money to go to America, and for innovation to be relentlessly trolled with heavy lawsuits, most of which will be settled with a cross-license deal, i.e. borged.

    In this aspect, breaking it up is the only safe way forward.

  7. energystar

    'A Modo' of the United Kingdom?

    "However, now the UK will no longer be part of the European Union, fears are growing that the entire programme will cease to be an attractive proposition to patentees."

    If that was the case, OK with that cessation.

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