Tuesday, 4 March 2014

Amendment to Brussels I removes legal roadblock for unitary patent

If the unitary patent becomes a reality, there will be a new court: the Unified Patent Court (UPC). Currently,  recognition and enforcement of judgments in civil matters throughout the EU is regulated by the  “Brussels I Regulation”.  Judgments of the new UPC court should also be recognized among all EU member states, and thus Brussels I needed revision.

A proposal of the EU commission had been voted on by the European Parliament's legal affairs committee (JURI) two weeks ago. This cleared the way for formal approval. Both the Member States and the European Parliament need to approve the current proposal.

Today, 04.03.2014, the Council of the European Union has endorsed the amended text for the Brussels I regulation. 

Only the European Parliament has yet to approve it. Given the fact that their own commission was involved in reaching the text, this shouldn't be a problem. 

Apart from the 10 additional ratifications that are needed, this leaves only one potential legal roadblock for adoption of the unitary patent: Spain's legal challenges against the 'closer cooperation' used for the unitary patent regulations are still pending with the Court of Justice.

I understand from a press release of JURI that the Commission's text was amended. I was not able to find the text of the amended proposal. Should you know where to find it, drop me a line. 

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