UPC Agreement signing ceremony [UPDATE]

Today, on February 19, 2013 at 1415h, the signing ceremony of the International Agreement on the establishment of the Unified Patent Court will take has taken place in the Justus Lipsius building of the Council of the European Union located in Brussels.

The event can be followed by video streaming:


As far as we know, 22 countries are today going to sign the Agreement (in brackets: year of accession to EU or predecessor organisations):

  1. Austria (1995),
  2. Belgium (1952),
  3. Cyprus (2004),
  4. Denmark (1973),
  5. Estonia (2004),
  6. Finland (1995),
  7. France (1952),
  8. Germany (1952),
  9. Greece (1981),
  10. Hungary (2004),
  11. Ireland (1973),
  12. Italy (1952),
  13. Latvia (2004),
  14. Lithuania (2004),
  15. Luxembourg (1952),
  16. Malta (2004),
  17. Netherlands (1952),
  18. Portugal (1986),
  19. Romania (2007),
  20. Slovakia (2004),
  21. Sweden (1995), and
  22. United Kingdom (1973)

According to Ian Wishart of Europeanvoice.com,

  1. Bulgaria (2007), (see UPDATE below)
  2. the Czech Republic (2004), (see UPDATE below)
  3. Poland (2004) and
  4. Slovenia (2004) (see UPDATE below)

have indicated that they would not be in a position to sign the agreement next week because they still had technical issues to resolve. They are expected to sign at a later date.

Italy has opted out of the enhanced co-operation for creating the Unitary Patent. However, from the same source we have information saying Italy will nevertheless be signing up to the court agreement but – at least for the moment – not participate in the Unitary Patent.

Concerning Poland we know that they prefer taking a wait-and-see approach on unitary patent for now.

Spain has opted out anyway and will not join the signing party.

On Wednesday, February 27, 2013, the Friends of the Presidency Group (Patents) will meet in Brussels. The Agenda comprises a first exchange of information from Member States on ratification plans as well as an exchange of views concerning setting up of the Preparatory Committee.

For  entering into force, the
Unified Patent Court Agreement needs to be ratified by at least 13 EU Member states.  Moreover, ratification by Germany, United Kingdom, and France is mandatory. The 14th Draft of the Rules of Procedure is available here.

[UPDATE 2013-02-19 1200h]
See also the speech script of Mr Michel BARNIER, European Commissioner for the Internal Market and Services, titled Single European Patent: a major achievement but still some way to go.
[UPDATE 2013-02-19 1545h] See also the press release: “Bulgaria is expected to sign in the coming days once internal procedures have been completed. Poland and Spain did not sign the agreement. These member states can nevertheless still accede to the agreement at a later date”. This means that today Italy, the Czech Republic, and Slovenia have signed the Agreement. Only Spain and Poland abstained.
[UPDATE 2013-03-06 2315h] This press release of the EU Council announces that Bulgaria yesterday became the 25th signatory state of the Unitary Patent Court Agreement. Now only Poland and Spain stand outside. While Poland may or may not join one day, Spain is meanwhile reported to already prepare for another complaint to the CJEU if the present joint complaint with Italy against enhanced cooperation should fail, which is not so unlikely after the advocate general’s opinion.
(Photo: (C) 2013 by Council of the European Union)
About The Author

Axel H. Horns

German & European Patent, Trade Mark & Design Attorney

4 Responses to UPC Agreement Signing Ceremony: Today Is The Day. [UPDATED]

  1. Tony says:

    Czech Republic & Slovenia will also sign

  2. ospi says:

    Everybody knows that this treaty will not stand if one country brings it to the ECJ.

    • Tony says:

      It is an international agreement between Member States. The Court of Jusice of the EU has more minor role than if this was an EU regulation, like the unitary patent.. Also, its in accordance with the Court’s Opinon 1/09