Thursday, 2 May 2013

Can Spain or Italy change their mind, and join the Unitary patent?

At the moment, unitary patents will not be valid for Spain and Italy. Could these countries still change their minds?

The unitary patent is based on two EU regulations which were adopted without Spain and Italy. According to article 328(1) TFEU, both countries may still join those regulations.

However, to make those regulations take effect in those countries, the Unified Patent Court needs to have exclusive jurisdiction with regard to unitary patents.

For Italy, this is easier since they already signed the agreement on the UPC. Assuming they haven't done so already they need then only ratify the agreement.

Spain would still need to sign to the agreement. Fortunately, according to Article 84 of the agreement, it is open for signature by any Member State, including Spain. 

So, in my opinion, should they want to, Spain and Italy may join the unitary patent in the future should they want to.

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