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  • Canada to join Hague Agreement

    25 July 2018

    Canada has ratified the Hague Agreement for the International Registration of Industrial Designs. Canada can be designated in new Hague design filings from 5 November 2018. The Hague Agreement enables applicants to seek protection of registered designs/design patents in 69 territories (that includes all European Union member states, USA, South Korea, Japan, Russia and the […]

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  • UK ratifies the UPCA

    27 April 2018

    Sam Gyimah MP, Minister of State for Universities, Science, Research and Innovation, announced yesterday (26 April 2018) that the UK has ratified the Agreement on a Unified Patent Court (UPCA). The announcement came during Mr Gyimah’s speech at the IPAN World IP Day event held in the House of Commons. Mr Gyimah said “Ratification of […]

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  • Latvia ratifies the UPCA

    18 January 2018

    On 11 January, Latvia ratified the Agreement on a Unified Patent Court (UPCA), bringing the total number of ratifications to fifteen. As it stands, applicants will be able to protect their inventions in at least 17 countries (the existing 14 plus UK and Germany) with a single Unitary Patent (UP) when the system is implemented. […]

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  • Lithuania ratifies the UPCA

    25 August 2017

    On Thursday 24 August, Lithuania ratified the Agreement on a Unified Patent Court (UPCA), bringing the total number of ratifications to fourteen. As it stands, applicants will be able to protect their inventions in at least 16 countries (the existing 14 plus UK and Germany) with a single Unitary Patent (UP) when the system is […]

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  • Estonia ratifies the UPCA

    4 August 2017

    Estonia has ratified the Agreement on a Unified Patent Court (UPCA). Estonia’s ratification means that the geographical protection provided by the Unitary Patent (UP) upon implementation will cover to at least 15 countries. The complete list of countries to have ratified the UPCA can be found here but must also include the UK and Germany […]

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  • UK’s preparations for the Unified Patent Court are back on track

    26 June 2017

    The UK has set in motion the legislative process to remove the final legal impediment to ratification of the UPCA. The UKIPO has confirmed today that the Unified Patent Court (UPC) related Statutory Instrument (the “Order on Privileges and Immunities”) has been laid before Parliament, alongside equivalent legislation for Scotland being scheduled for discussion in […]

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  • UPC reason ten: Simplicity…

    3 May 2017

    The unitary patent system offers much greater simplicity for users. Instead of having to validate and renew a granted European patent on a country-by-country basis, innovators will be able to achieve the same protection with a single Unitary Patent maintained by a single renewal fee. That means fewer deadlines to remember and fewer reminder emails […]

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  • UPC reason nine: Clear court process and timeline – UPC will have a common process and timeline for all divisions increasing clarity, reducing complexity and delay…

    27 April 2017

    The Unitary Patent Court will have a common process and timeline for all of its divisions throughout Europe. This will increase the clarity of procedure before the UPC, and reduce delay. It means that a UPC litigator can be assured that a case brought in Stockholm will be handled the same as a case in […]

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  • UPC reason eight: Lingua Franca – English will be the dominant language of the UP system. All UPs will have English version…

    19 April 2017

    For businesses in the UK and other English-speaking countries, there is a clear advantage to being able to litigate in one’s mother tongue. This will be possible at all Unified Patent Court hearings. Costly translations can therefore be avoided. Once the unitary patent system is established it will also no longer be necessary to obtain […]

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  • UPC reason seven: “Bonus” countries…

    11 April 2017

    Where previously a European patent may have only been validated in, say, five EU countries, the Unitary Patent will eventually cover 25 of the 28 member states for a lower cost to that of the five previously. These “bonus” countries could provide unexpected benefits to companies. Infringements can arise anytime and anywhere, so the impressive […]

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  • UPC reason six: Quick and efficient…

    4 April 2017

    The Unified Patent Court will resolve cases much more quickly than is possible under the current system. If a case is brought, it will be processed and a judgment passed down within a year. This means that businesses can bring their case to court more quickly if needed. The Court also intends to hear trials […]

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  • UPC reason five: Great for SMEs…

    28 March 2017

    SMEs can greatly benefit from the Unitary Patent (UP) and the UPC. Not only does the UP provide substantial savings on renewal fees across the entire (eventual) 25 UP territories but the UPC also offers several other benefits to SMEs. Firstly, the UPC offers a centralised approach for European IP disputes (substantially cheaper than multiple […]

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  • UPC reason four: Well-run Unitary Patent Court…

    21 March 2017

    It is expected that the UPC will provide robust decisions as a result of the standardised practices between divisions and the diverse and well trained pool of judges. This ensures that issues can be expertly tried and decisions relied upon in territories previously unaccustomed to handling large volumes of patent litigation. This consistency of practice […]

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  • UPC reason three: Pan-European Enforcement…

    15 March 2017

    Firstly, the use of a single court system avoids the scenario of different courts in different countries reaching conflicting opinions on the issue of infringement.  Even more appealing, as the Unitary Patent covers a large number of European territories, is that it will be possible to use the court to seek relief for infringing activities […]

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  • UPC reason two: Cost effective system…

    9 March 2017

    The Unitary Patent system will be cost effective for everyone. It becomes cheaper per country when compared to the traditional bundle of European patents as you seek to protect your invention in an increasing number of countries. Specifically, the annual cost of renewing a Unitary Patent will be equivalent to the cost of renewing individual […]

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  • UPC reason one: Impressive geographical coverage…

    27 February 2017

    A Unitary Patent will provide protection spanning most of the countries of the European Union (except for Spain, Poland and Croatia, at least for the time being). With a population of over half a billion people and a GDP valued at more than $18 trillion, this region represents the largest single market in the world. […]

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  • Italy ratifies the UPCA

    13 February 2017

    On Friday 10 February 2017, Italy became the latest country to ratify the UPCA, bringing the total number of ratifications to twelve. As ten other non-mandatory countries, plus France, have already ratified the Agreement (listed here), the ratification of Italy was not required to initiate the UPC. However, with Italy being the fourth largest economy […]

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  • Unitary Patent Package expected to enter into force in December 2017

    16 January 2017

    An official statement from the Unified Patent Court (UPC) website, published today (found here), has outlined a rough timetable for the UPC becoming operational. If all continues as expected, the Agreement on the Unified Patent Court (UPCA) and the Court itself should be up and running in December 2017. This would mean that the ‘Unitary […]

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  • The UK will ratify the UPCA!

    28 November 2016

    At the EU competitiveness council meeting today the UK Minister of State for Energy and Intellectual Property, Baroness Neville-Rolfe, indicated that the UK will ratify the Unified Patent Court Agreement (see official press release here). UPC specialist and W&R Partner Russell Barton said: “We, at Withers & Rogers, are delighted the UK government has chosen […]

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  • The Netherlands ratifies the UPCA

    20 September 2016

    The Netherlands recently became the eleventh country to ratify the Unified Patent Court Agreement. This marks a key point in the implementation of the UPC, as now only the mandatory ratification by Germany and the UK is necessary to bring the UPC Agreement into force. Prior to the recent EU Referendum, the UK was expected […]

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  • Bulgaria becomes the tenth country to ratify the UPC Agreement

    9 June 2016

    On 3 June 2016, Bulgaria became the tenth country to ratify the Unified Patent Court Agreement by depositing its instrument of ratification. This now leaves the UK, Germany and one other country to ratify before the Agreement takes effect. Please see our updated UP and UPC pages for the latest information.   James Mitchell Electronics, […]

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  • Recruitment begins for UPC judges

    16 May 2016

    The recruitment process for selecting the first group of UPC judges is now open. Candidates may apply to become a full-time or part-time judge until the closing date of 4 July 2016. Information on the selection process can be found here. The opening of the selection process marks a major step in the implementation of […]

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  • Finland becomes ninth country to ratify UPC Agreement

    21 January 2016

    On 19 January 2016, Finland deposited its instrument of ratification, becoming the ninth country to ratify the Unified Patent Court (UPC) Agreement. This means that only four more countries, including the UK and Germany, are required to ratify the Agreement before it takes effect. Please see our updated UP and UPC pages for the latest […]

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  • The Unitary Patent – how far away is it now?

    13 January 2016

    Unitary Patent (UP) The UP draws ever closer, and recent events suggest early 2017 is the hot favourite for commencement. If you haven’t considered the ramifications of the UP for your business yet, now is the time to start. The Select Committee, who set the rules and fees for the UP, recently announced that their […]

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  • Another step forward for the Unified Patent Court

    9 October 2015

    On Thursday 1 October 2015, seven EU Member States, including the UK, France and Germany, signed the Protocol to the Agreement on a Unified Patent Court (UPC) on provisional application. This Protocol allows for the implementing of IT systems and recruitment of judges as well as other key provisions which must be completed before the […]

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  • Italy joins Unitary Patent

    7 October 2015

    The European Commission confirmed on 30 September 2015 that Italy has become the 26th state to join the enhanced cooperation of the Unitary Patent protection. Given Italy’s previous reluctance to join, including pursuing a legal challenge against the Unitary Patent, this is a major success for the future of the Unitary Patent and the Unified […]

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  • Portugal becomes eighth country to ratify UPC Agreement

    2 September 2015

    After completing the required formalities on 28 August 2015, Portugal became the latest country to ratify the UPC agreement, bringing the total number to eight. In order for the Unified Patent Court and the Unitary Patent to come into effect, 13 EU countries must ratify the Agreement, including the three largest member states in terms […]

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  • The select committee adopts the “true top 4” fee proposal for the Unitary Patent

    25 June 2015

    On Wednesday, the EPO announced that the Select Committee of the Administrative Council had adopted the “True Top 4” proposal tabled by the European Patent Office on renewal fees applicable to the unitary patent. The “True Top 4” proposal, as we explained here, fixes the unitary patent renewal fees at levels equal to the sum […]

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  • The EPO’s Unitary Patent adjusted fee proposal

    29 May 2015

    On 7 May 2015, the President of the European Patent Office, Benoît Battistelli, submitted an adjusted proposal for the renewal fees of the Unitary Patent for review by the Select Committee of the Administrative Council. The document, found here, begins with a brief discussion of the previous proposal. The first option in the previous proposal […]

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  • UPC fees and recoverable costs

    8 May 2015

    Public consultation opened today regarding the court fees and recoverable costs at the Unitary Patent Court. The consultation period shall last 12 weeks, closing at midnight on 31 July. Responses should be sent to, preferably in English. We’ve picked out some key points from the document below, however, should you wish to review the consultation […]

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  • Austria sets ball rolling for Unitary Patent implementation

    7 January 2015

    Austria became the first country to take the steps necessary to bring the European Unitary Patent and Unified Patent Court (UPC) into force, by ratifying the legislation on 7 August 2013. This milestone in the Unitary Patent project is welcomed, and paves the way for other countries to start the ratification process. In order for […]

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  • A step closer to the unified patent court as prototype eFiling software is released

    7 January 2015

    Last month saw the prototype of the eFiling and Case Management System for the new Unified Patent Court (UPC) go live for testing. This represents an important step closer to the implementation of the UPC. The development team, coordinated by a UK-based taskforce, have chosen an off-the-shelf product on which to base the system. The […]

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