This Thursday, 23 June 2016, is of course Referendum Day here in the UK, the outcome of which could have a significant impact on the unitary patent system. This Thursday also marks the day on which two bills relating to Germany’s ratification procedure for the UPCA will come before the German parliament. This hearing is apparently the first of three hearings. With the German Parliament due to take a summer break throughout most of July and August it may be the autumn before the necessary steps have been taken to ratify the UPCA in Germany. [German Parliament calendar; Draft Bill 1; Draft Bill 2]
In Ireland the Government has published its Legislative Programme for the next session. Page 15 of the document lists the “Amendment of the Constitution (Unified Patent Court)” Bill which is to amend Article 29 of the Constitution to recognise the International Agreement on a Unified Patent Court. The Programme sets out the legislation that we as a Government will seek to publish over the next few months.
An article in Arstechnia has EPO President Battistelli discussing the progress of the unitary patent system and the possible impact of a UK vote to Brexit later this week. According to the article there are around 4-5 further countries (in addition to Germany and the UK it seems) who are fairly well along the ratification “pipeline”. It’s also interesting to note that the Unitary Patent Fee Saving Myth is still alive and well since the article states: “The so-called unitary patent is expected to offer dramatic savings over the traditional European patent as there will be no need to approach each country individually”. Head on over to IPcopy’s article on this subject for our take on this subject!
Mark Richardson 21 June 2016