On Wednesday afternoon, the House of Commons' Delegated Legislation Committee approved the final piece of legislation which needs to be enacted before the UK can ratify the Unified Patent Court Agreement. Approval by the full House of Commons is now a formality, requiring a simple "yes/no" vote with no further debate.
A similar procedure needs to be followed in the House of Lords. The Grand Committee of the House of Lords is scheduled to carry out its own discussion of the legislation on 6 December.It now seems likely that the UK will be in a position to ratify the UPC Agreement by the end of 2017, or early in 2018.
The biggest questions for the UPC timetable are now whether - and, if so, when - the UK will actually deposit its instrument of ratification; and what will happen in relation to the German constitutional complaint.
My full report on the Parliamentary debate and the outstanding questions surrounding the UPC can be read on the IPKat blog here.
A motion will be put before the House on behalf of Mr Johnson’s older brother, the Foreign Secretary, “That the draft Unified Patent Court (Immunities and Privileges) Order 2017, which was laid before this House on 26 June, be approved”. Indeed, such a motion has already been listed in the House of Commons’ Order of Business, although no date has yet been assigned.