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The Unified Patent Court and the Unitary Patent

Navigating the new EU patent system

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Italy ratifies the UPC Agreement – only Germany and the UK needed to ratify before the UPC can commence

20 February 2017

On 10 February Italy lodged its instrument of ratification of the Unified Patent Court Agreement (UPCA) with the EU Council.  Italy is the twelfth state to ratify the UPCA (for details of other ratifications see the UPCA section here). For the UPCA to come into force at least 13 contracting states must ratify including 3 specific ones: France, Germany and the UK. France has already ratified. The UK has announced that it will ratify (see here) and Germany is said to be holding on until August so that the 4 month lead-in period which applies once there is sufficient ratification can commence in time to allow a 1 December 2017 start date for the (under Article 89 UPCA, the agreement enters into force on the first day of the fourth month after the deposit of the thirteenth instrument of ratification).

The Unified Patent Court (UPC) and the Unitary Patent (UP)

Now the UK has announced it will ratify the UPC Agreement (despite Brexit plans), 2017 looks to be a likely start date for the UPC and unitary patent and patentees urgently need to develop a litigation and opt-out strategy.

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