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  • Bundesrat approval

    18 December 2020

    The German Upper Chamber (the Bundesrat) has now approved the UPC (Unified Patent Court) agreement. The final step for the UPC to be brought into German law is the signature by German’s president Frank-Walter Steinmeier which we expect shortly (baring any further constitutional objections). As we reported in November, German Parliament’s Lower Chamber (the Bundestag) […]

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  • German Parliament votes for UPC

    27 November 2020

    A two-thirds majority has now been established in the Bundestag for the UPC (Unified Patent Court) Agreement. As we reported in March the German Constitutional Court ruled that UPC (Unified Patent Court) ratification at that time would be unconstitutional in Germany due to the failure of the Bundestag to secure a two-thirds majority of all […]

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  • Partial Red Light For UPC from German Court

    20 March 2020

    The German Constitutional Court today partially upheld the complaint by Ingve Stjerna that the UPC (Unified Patent Court) is unconstitutional in Germany. The Court ruled that the failure of the Bundestag to secure a two-thirds majority of all Members for the UPC legislation, a matter concerning constitutional change, was unlawful. This will undoubtedly further delay […]

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  • Business as usual for IP in Europe

    16 January 2019

    Brexit On 23 June 2016, the British people voted in a referendum on whether the UK should remain a member of the European Union. Just under 52% of voters voted to leave the EU, against just over 48% who voted that the UK should remain part of the EU. As a result, the UK began […]

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  • UK signals intent to stay in Unified Patent Court after Brexit

    16 July 2018

    The UK Government published its white paper regarding “The future relationship between the United Kingdom and the European Union” (found here). This provides the strongest indication yet that the UK Government will act to stay a part of the Unitary Patent Package (UPP) after Brexit. The UK Government had already stated that it is planning […]

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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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  • 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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  • CIPA – Securing the UK’s continued participation in the Unified Patent Court and Unitary Patent following Brexit

    20 September 2016

    The legal position, that it is possible for the UK to remain in the UPC and UP has already been widely supported as reported here. This view already included support from CIPA (the Chartered Institute of Patent Attorneys) and now has further heavyweight backing from a newly published Counsel’s opinion. CIPA, the IP Federation and […]

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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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  • 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 secretariat@unified-patent-court.org, 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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  • Spanish Unitary Patent objections dismissed by CJEU

    7 May 2015

    Arguably the last major hurdle to the introduction of the Unitary Patent was overcome Tuesday as the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) dismissed the two challenges presented by Spain regarding a lack of compliance with EU law. Back in December 2012, Spain challenged the two Regulations which aim to govern the unitary […]

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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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  • Bot sticks the boot in to Spanish objections over Unitary Patent

    27 November 2014

    The Advocate General (AG) of the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU), Yves Bot, has issued a stern rebuke to Spain’s legal challenges to the European Unitary Patent and Unified Patent Court, and calls for their dismissal by the Court, thus providing a good indication that the final obstacles in the way of […]

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