The key agreement for the creation of the EU patent was signed precisely one year ago on February 19, 2013. Until now, however, only Austria has ratified this Agreement. To take effect it must be ratified by at least 13 Member States, including Germany, France, and the United Kingdom. In France, the Senate already gave its approval on November 21, 2013, so that now only the decision of the National Assembly is still lacking.
Neither Germany nor the United Kingdom have initiated the appropriate parliamentary procedures, however. At the beginning of February 2014, Alice Pezard, French member of the Drafting Committee on Rules of Procedure for the UPC, expressed her personal assessment in a lecture in Munich that the system could probably not be functional before 2018. It is still not certain, whether, when and how the rules regarding the EU patent will come into effect.
For this reason, we have asked our foreign peers, how the discussion is proceeding in the countries, which until now are not playing a part in the EU patent or only to a limited degree (Italy, Croatia, Poland, and Spain). The answers reveal: Italy may give up its reservations. For the time being, however, this is not expected in the cases of Croatia, Poland and Spain.
Find more on our microsite about the European Unitary Patent.