After Brexit was voted there have been assumptions of what would be the future of the Unitary Patent Court and the patent of unitary effect.
The possibility of a non-ratification of the Unitary Patent Court Agreement by the UK before the Brexit was on the table, however, the latest news refer that the UK Government has announced that it would be ratifying the Agreement before officially leaves the UE.
The implementation of the Agreement on the Unitary Patent Court depends on the ratification of 13 countries, in which the ratification from UK, Germany and France is mandatory.
Upon the ratification of the same, the patent with unitary effect, the applicable language regime shall be implemented and the unitary patent regime shall enter into force.
Hitherto, European patents depend on the validation in each country where the protection of the same is intended, as in most countries a translation of the patent text and payment of local annual fees is necessary. After the regime of the unitary patent enter into force, it shall be possible to choose for a unitary effect of the European patent, where the patent shall be effective in all the member states that ratified the unitary regime, without the need of submitting further documentation or proceed with annual fees in each jurisdiction.
Moreover, after the ratification of the agreement by all the necessary states, the Unitary Patent Court is going to be established and shall have jurisdiction on litigation of European patents and European patents with unitary effect. The court integrates a Court of First Instance with a central division in Paris and sections in London and Munich, along with other regional divisions, a Court of Appeal in Luxemburg and an Arbitration and Mediation Centre in Lisbon in Ljubljana.
This is good news for the project of the European patent with unitary effect, which has come a long way before it finally becomes a reality in the European patent system.