Thursday, 15 September 2016

The Netherlands ratify unified patent court agreement

The Netherlands have deposited their instrument of ratification. This makes it the 11th country to do so.

This marks an important milestone since if we add the remaining required countries--the United Kingdom and Germany--we reach 13 ratified countries which is sufficient to start the unitary patent system.

The Dutch government adds that:
Germany is likely to follow shortly. In addition, also approval by the United Kingdom is required. What the exact consequences of the announced 'Brexit' are for when the agreement enters into force, is still unclear.
The latter point is of course the problem. Only if the United Kingdom were to ratify can the agreement enter into force. They are legally fully allowed to do so, but personally I consider it unlikely that they at present will want to take this step.

In all other scenarios, the entry into force will be delayed. Even if the United Kingdom ratifies now, it is unclear what should happen if they leave the EU, but try to stay in the unified patent agreement.

Photo "Tullips in the rain" by Cicely Miller via Flickr under a CC-By 2.0 license (no changes made).