Friday, 13 November 2015

Hungary signs the protocol of the Unified Patent Court Agreement

Liberty Bridge, Budapest

Hungary has signed the  'Protocol on provisional application of the Unified Patent Court Agreement'.

As we reported, on October 1, 2015 seven participating member states signed a protocol to the Agreement on a Unified Patent Court.  The protocol is significant for users of the new system since it makes it possible to have a sunrise period for opt-outs. The protocol is also significant for countries who have to implement the Agreement, since it allows some organizational and institutional aspects to be in place before the Agreement itself is in full force. Hungary was not among the signatories.

I just found out though, that about a week later, on October 7, 2015, Hungary has signed the protocol after all.

Previously, there had been indications that Hungary was getting less enthusiastic about the unitary patent, and not so long ago, a critical article appeared on Lexology, urging the Hungarian goverment to postpone adoption of the regime. Signing of this protocol seems to indicate that Hungary is nevertheless committed to go ahead with the unified patent court and unitary patent.

One of the aspects of the agreement that may be in force before the rest of the agreement, is Article 19. This article states that there will be a  Training Centre for European patent judges in Budapest. The centre already opened, but perhaps signing the protocol may be useful for this centre in some way?

The full list of signatories to the protocol at present are: Germany, Denmark, France, United Kingdom, Hungary, Luxembourg, Sweden, and Slovenia. The Netherlands have declared that they will sign the protocol as soon as it gets parliamentary approval for the unified patent court, i.e., as soon as it ratifies.

Photo "Szabadság híd" by András Farkas obtained via Flickr  under a  CC-By license

1 comment:

  1. Just by way of update: the Netherland have placed the UPC agreement-approval and the Rijksoctrooiwet changes on a list of urgent legislation, with a planned/desired/suggested approval by parliament on 20 Sept 2016.
    The proposals have however not been presented to parliament yet, probably because the Raad van State gave its advice on the approval act just before christmas and took thus almost half a year to do so.

    Ratification is furthermore sped up by exempting the legislation from the waiting period for a possible consultative referendum.