On 7th August 2013, Austria became the first country to ratify the Agreement on the Unified Patent Court. The EPO President’s blog of 21st February 2014 suggests that they may soon be joined by two others.
The French National Assembly is reported to have ratified the Agreement and dispatched it (presumably by scooter courier) to President Hollande for signing on 13th February. Likewise, the Maltese parliament is reported to have completed parliamentary procedures on 21th January. Ratification by either country is yet to be registered with the Council of the European Union, but should be in the near future.
The Unitary Patent Court Agreement continues to gather pace elsewhere, with preparations underway in both Belgium and the UK. Denmark is due to hold a Unified Patent Court membership referendum on 25th May after the Danish Government failed to secure a super majority. However a recent poll suggested that 54% of Danes would vote in favour of the Unitary Patent system.
For the Unitary Patent to take effect a further 10 European Union member states, including Germany and the UK, must ratify the agreement, and while the President was quick to praise the “swift progress” of Austria, France and Malta, he also encouraged the other countries to “step up the pace”.
For further information on the Unitary Patent and the Unified Patent Court please watch our video here.
This article is for general information only. Its content is not a statement of the law on any subject and does not constitute advice. Please contact Reddie & Grose LLP for advice before taking before any action in reliance on it.