The Unified Patent Court Agreement has been ratified by the 14th country, but no sign yet of a new official opening date.
On 24 August 2017 Lithuania became the 14th state to ratify the Agreement on a Unified Patent Court, a supra-national tribunal with jurisdiction on unitary patents and European patents.
The agreement can come into force after formal ratification by 13 signatory states, mandatorily including France, Germany and the United Kingdom.
France ratified the Unified Patent Court Agreement in 2014, but neither Germany nor the United Kingdom have yet done so.
As far as the United Kingdom is concerned, it is not clear whether it would be able to continue being a member of the Unified Patent Court after Brexit actually takes place.
In Germany, an appeal before the Federal Constitutional Court has led the German Parliament to suspend the approval process of the national law ratifying the Unified Patent Court Agreement. It is not known yet when the Federal Constitutional Court will issue a decision on the appeal.
In consideration of the above, the President of the Unified Patent Court Preparatory Committee announced in June that the court would not be able to begin operations by end 2017 as scheduled.
The president indicated the first half of 2018 as a likely possibility and promised “a more detailed timetable will be communicated as soon as the picture is clearer”.
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