Experts are preparing for the entry into force of the European Unitary Patent. There is, however, only small progress in formal regard, and there are still certain risks on a political level. This EU Patent Alert reports on both these issues.
On January 19, 2016, Finland became the ninth State to ratify the Unified Patent Court Agreement. According to its Article 89(1), four more Member States are required to ratify the agreement for it to enter into force, including necessarily the United Kingdom and Germany. The entry into force is expected for 2017. In Germany, the formal ratification procedure has not been initiated yet, however. Several legal, organizational, and financial aspects are not finally clarified. The current status of ratifications is available on the website of the European Council and on the Microsite EU-Patent.
Our workshop “Hostile license offers - patent trolls - European Unitary Patent - What can enterprises expect?” in Hamburg on Tuesday, April 26, 2016, will discuss the effects of the planned EU patent. Additional information and registration details are available here. Registration is also possible on XING.
The incidents in Cologne on New Year's Eve may perhaps even affects the European Unitary Patent. In any event, UK media reported very extensively on these incidents, which according to press reports led to a further increase of Brexit proponents. If there were a, Brexit the European Unitary Patent would hardly enter into force as planned. The Brexit referendum has not been scheduled yet, and the search for political compromises on European level is still ongoing. It remains to be seen whether a European-wide court system will be established for the first time, while otherwise national borders are seeing a revival within the European Union.