With regard to the unitary patent and the Unified Patent Court (UPC), there has been a surprising turn of events. Yesterday, the government of Great Britain has announced that despite the Brexit referendum, the ratification of the UPC-treaty will proceed in order to bring the UPC into operation as soon as possible.
In order to let the unitary patent and the UPC come into action, thirteen member states need to ratify the UPC agreement. Up to date, eleven member states have ratified, including France. If Great Britain ratifies, only the ratification by Germany will be needed to let the unitary patent and the UPC come into operation. The prospect that the new system will come into action in 2017 has suddenly become very real.
This is good news for the many innovating companies in The Netherlands. The unitary patent will create the possibility to protect inventions in a large part of Europe at reasonable costs. The UPC will provide an efficient way to assert a patent against an infringer across a large part of Europe in a single court case.
Although the outlook is now very good, this project has seen several surprises in the past and further surprising events cannot be ruled out.