The British vote to exit the European Union will not effect the United Kingdom's membership in the European Patent Organization nor the launch of the Unified Patent Court, European Patent Office President Benoit Battistelli, said in a statement.
"The Office underlines that the outcome of the referendum has no consequence on the membership of the UK to the European Patent Organisation, nor on the effect of the European Patents in the UK," he said. "Concerning the Unitary Patent and the Unified Patent Court, the Office expects that the UK and the participating Member States will find a solution as soon as possible which will allow a full implementation of these so-long awaited achievements."
The Unified Patent Court is expected to be launched in early 2017.
Many U.S. and Canadian patent licensing companies including Marathon Patent Group (MARA) and the former Unwired Planet Inc., now known as Great Elm Capital Group (GEC), have been bringing enforcement actions in Europe because of the ability to get injunctive relief for infringement claims. Injunctive relief in the U.S. courts has become a near impossibility since the U.S. Supreme Court's 2007 ruling in eBay v. MercExchange.
Injunctive relief in Europe has only been possible in individual countries, which has mitigated its effectiveness in forcing settlements. As such, many U.S. and Canadian patent licensing companies have been hoping a finding of infringement in the Unified Patent Court would bring a Europe-wide injunction, which would be far more likely to persuade an infringer to settle.
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