Intellectual Property Bill [HL]

Written evidence submitted by Dr Dimitris Xenos (IP 03)

I am writing regarding the Intellectual Property Bill (HC Bill 102) which is currently examined by the House of Commons.

I would like to draw your attention to Part 2, Section 17 of the IP Bill entitled "Unified Patent Court" which aims to give effect to the European Unified Patent Court (UPC) Agreement, signed in Brussels in February 2013.

The UPC concerns a new supranational judicial institution which will become the highest legal authority for the setting of patent standards and the adjudication of patent disputes in Europe.

The UPC Agreement was discussed by the European Scrutiny Committee (see "The Unified Patent Court: help or hindrance?", 65th Report of Session 2010–12) concluding that "the draft agreement on the Unified Patent Court is likely to hinder, rather than help, the enforcement of patents within the European Union. This will particularly be so for SMEs, the main intended beneficiaries."

Serious concerns have also been raised about the lack of a reliable impact assessment study at both national and European levels.

I have undertaken a detailed study on the subject which is entitled "The European Unified Patent Court: Assessment and Implications of the Federalisation of the Patent System in Europe". This study is an academic article published in August 2013 by SCRIPTed - Journal of Law, Technology & Society, Volume 10(2), 246-277 of the University of Edinburgh. It is available at

January 2014

Prepared 31st January 2014