On February 19, 2013, the EU ministries signed the agreement that will establish a single patent litigation system for Europe, the Unified Patent Court (UPC). The UPC will ensure a uniform applicability of patent law. The UPC is part of the Unitary Patent package that was approved in December 2012.
Following the signing of the agreement, the ratification process by national parliament can start. At least 13 of the 25 signatory countries are required to ratify the agreement, and those must include the UK, Germany and France.
The unitary patent system contributes to the internationalization of innovative growth companies. It will be a good option for companies that want to file a European patent designating many participating countries.
”Despite the promising and historical achievements so far, a lot of work lies ahead to ensure the unitary patent and UPC deliver on their promise. There are still many issues to be ironed out and open questions, such as costs. We do look forward to a successful ratification process and thus I would recommend companies to start already now evaluating the possible effects on their patent portfolios”, says Mikko Piironen, European Patent Attorney, Papula-Nevinpat.