Ratification Update

United Kingdom

This article was produced by Olswang LLP, which joined with CMS on 1 May 2017.

The UPC will only enter force once 13 states, including the UK, France, and Germany, have ratified the Agreement.

As of November 2015, 8 states have completed the ratification process :- Austria, Belgium, Denmark, France, Luxembourg, Malta, Portugal, and Sweden.  Finland also appear on-track to ratify following a recommendation from a Finnish working group that the Agreement should be ratified and amendments made to national patent law.

The UK, Germany, the Netherlands, Italy, and Hungary have all also made positive noises about early ratification and so we appear to be at the point of knowing the extent of the Court’s jurisdiction for early cases.  However, there are also mutterings that Germany will withhold their ratification, either to be last or until the UK’s referendum on EU membership.  The former would be understandable, in order to ensure the Court only enters force once all practical arrangements are in place, the latter less so and could lead to significant delay.