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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 the Unitary Patent and UPC to come into force, thirteen countries must ratify the legislation, including the UK, France and Germany. The Unitary Patent will then take effect four months after the thirteenth ratification. Despite the speed with which Austria has ratified the legislation, it is expected that the UK will not ratify until mid-2015. Assuming eleven other countries have ratified by this point (including France and Germany), it seems likely that the earliest possible start date for the Unitary Patent will be late-2015.
Watch this space for news of further ratifications.
This publication is a general summary of the law. It should not replace legal advice tailored to your specific circumstances.
© Withers & Rogers LLP, January 2015