April 27, 2018

Unified Patent Court Agreement ratified by UK

The United Kingdom ratified UPC Agreement on April 26, 2018. This reflects willingness of the UK government to be a part of the EU regulatory activity in science and technology, despite Brexit.
Since the European Patent Convention (the EPC) came into force in the late 1970s, the most significant change to the European Patent Law is represented by the “Unitary Patent” and the Unified Patent Court (UPC). This legislation reform fundamentally alters the way patents are granted and enforced in the European Union.
Unitary effect of a European Patent, which replaces validation of the European patent, offers a single renewal fee, a single object of property, a single court (UPC) and a uniform protection - revocation and enforcement proceedings are to be decided in a single action for the unitary patent as a whole.
Unitary effect of a European Patent will cover the territories of those participating states that have ratified the UPC Agreement at the date of registration of the unitary effect of the European patent. The UPC Agreement is open to accession by any Member State of the European Union and, up to date, have been signed by 25 EU member states, except for Poland, Croatia and Spain.
A total of 13 member states need to ratify the agreement before it comes into force, including Germany being the last member to ratify (France and UK having already ratified). Due to a constitutional complaint lodged against UPC in Germany, German ratification remains probably held up until next year.
IP-Coster is closely watching further developments as to the matter, and we will keep you informed as soon as any additional details become available.

Author: Jessica Chester