Today at the EU’s Competitiveness Council meeting in Brussels, the UK announced that it is proceeding with preparations to ratify the Unified Patent Court Agreement.
This puts an end to the uncertainty period that started with the Brexit vote back in June this year.
The Unified Patent Court will be competent for classic European patents and have exclusive jurisdiction for the new European patent with unitary effect (Unitary Patent).
The Unitary Patent is an EU wide patent that can be requested at the grant stage of the conventional European patent. The Unitary Patent Court will permit EU-wide enforcement of European patents, making them more valuable.
Ratification by 13 countries is required for the new system to start, including France, Germany and the United-Kingdom. Today, 11 countries have ratified (AT, BE, BG, DK, FI, FR, LU, MT, NL, PT, SE), and 4 are ready to ratify – including the UK. Germany is reportedly ready for ratification.
With this good news, entry into force of the Unitary Patent system may again be expected in 2017.