Monday 28 November 2016 9:07 pm

Government to ratify new EU patent system despite Brexit

The UK will ratify plans to create a patent court spanning the European Union, despite the Brexit vote.

The government has committed to an initiative that will protect inventions across the EU. Members of the single patent system must defer to EU law decided by the European Court of Justice.

One important branch of the Unified Patent Court is set to be based in Aldgate Tower in the City. The division will decide on disputes in pharmaceuticals and life sciences.

Given the Brexit vote, many intellectual property lawyers had predicted the UK would pull out of the initiative. Proponents of the system say it is particularly beneficial for small companies as it allows them to defend themselves with a single patent across the EU, which is cheaper than having multiple.

Read more: China logged a record one million patent applications last year

The minister for Intellectual Property, Baroness Neville Rolfe, said: "As the Prime Minister has said, for as long as we are members of the EU, the UK will continue to play a full and active role.

"We will seek the best deal possible as we negotiate a new agreement with the European Union. We want that deal to reflect the kind of mature, cooperative relationship that close friends and allies enjoy. We want it to involve free trade, in goods and services."

She added that ratifying the new patent system was not indicative of the UK's position in the upcoming negotiations with the EU.