Wednesday, 17 February 2016

Germany starts ratification unified patent court

Things are speeding up for unitary patent in Germany

At last Germany has started the ratification of the Agreement on a unified patent court and thus also on the unitary patent. Although no-one doubted that Germany would eventually ratify, we had no news that the ratification was actually being prepared.

The ratification of Germany, France, and the United Kingdom is required before the unitary patent comes into effect. The United Kingdom had already started the ratification process, and France ratified already in 2014. Now also Germany has started the ratification process.

The Bundesjustizministerium (Federal Ministry of Justice) has published two law proposals. The first proposal is to ratify the unified patent court. The other one contains changes to the German patent law to accommodate the unitary patent. (Both are in German).

According to Juve (German), there are some concerns about how the proposed law regulates the prohibition on double patenting and the enforcement of decisions of the UPC. 

This step brings the unitary patent a lot closer. The unitary patent system enters into force on the first day of the fourth month after the 13th state, but including Germany and the United Kingdom, ratify the agreement. Currently, nine countries ratified. So to get an entry into force in 2016, we need Germany and the United Kingdom, plus two additional countries to finish ratification within the next half year. I'm not sure if that is possible, but a launch in early 2017 is certainly in the cards.

Photo "World Championship 2015 - sleddog race" by Ralf Κλενγε, via Flickr, under CC-By 2.0 license. 

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