Tuesday, 29 November 2016

UK still proceeding with preparations to ratify Unified Patent Court


In a press release the UK intellectual property office states that they are still proceeding with preparations to ratify the Unified Patent Court Agreement. The press release is optimistically titled "UK signals green light to Unified Patent Court Agreement".

It is not all green lights in the press release though. Baroness Neville Rolfe (Minister for Intellectual Property) links the ratification to access to the free market. Is this press release offering ratification of the unitary patent in exchange for access to the free market? Despite the optimistic language, I still do not expect a quick ratification. If the Article 50 exit negotiations will include negotiating the Unified Patent Court Agreement, it will take at least two more years. Assuming of course, the unitary patent does not fall by the wayside in the process.

Photo "Good to go" by Blondinrikard Fröberg via Flickr under a CC-BY 2.0 license.


Tuesday, 22 November 2016

EPO ready for unitary patent

Waiting for the UK

According to a statement of the select committee the EPO has completed the legal preparations for the Unitary Patent. In particular, they have approved how the fees coming from the unitary patent are to be distributed among the participating member states.

At present, it doesn't look like many fees will be rolling in any time soon though. When the select committee will have their next meeting will depend on 'the development of the question of the entry into force of the UPP/UPC at the political level, within the framework of the European Union'. As long as the UK does not ratify the Agreement on a unified patent court, the unitary patent cannot start. The UK may or may not do so, but no news is forthcoming from that front. At the latest the select committee will reconvene in March 2017.


Photo by Unsplash via Pixabay, under a CC0 license; no changes were made to the photo.

Friday, 14 October 2016

Labour asks about UK's intentions for unitary patent



The UK Labour party has sent a list of 170 questions to David Davis, the Secretary of State for Exiting the European Union. The list includes two questions on the unitary patent: questions 110 and 111. Also view WIPR's discussion here

110. Does the government intend to proceed with ratification of the EU agreement to establish a Unified Patent Court, in the agreement’s present form; and if not, what steps is the government taking to negotiate an alternative agreement to which it would be willing to sign up? 
111. If the Unified Patent Court (UPC) goes ahead, will the Human Necessities seat of its Central Division continue to be located in London, as prescribed in Article 7(2) of the UPC agreement?

The first questions reflects the basic choice the UK now has to make. Does it want to make an effort to stay in the unitary patent, and if not is it worth the trouble to ratify just to leave later on?

If the UK wants to stay in the unitary patent system after Brexit, it seems likely to me that some kind of agreement is needed. If not a new agreement outright  the users will need to see something on paper to restore confidence that their unitary patents will be valid in the UK.

Prime Minister Theresa May has said that she does not want to jeopardize her negotiation strategy. So I  don't expect too much of the answers. Who wants the unitary patent more: the continent or the UK? Could the unitary patent become a bargaining chip?

Photo by geralt via Pixabay under a CC0 license (no changes).

Thursday, 15 September 2016

The Netherlands ratify unified patent court agreement


The Netherlands have deposited their instrument of ratification. This makes it the 11th country to do so.

This marks an important milestone since if we add the remaining required countries--the United Kingdom and Germany--we reach 13 ratified countries which is sufficient to start the unitary patent system.

The Dutch government adds that:
Germany is likely to follow shortly. In addition, also approval by the United Kingdom is required. What the exact consequences of the announced 'Brexit' are for when the agreement enters into force, is still unclear.
The latter point is of course the problem. Only if the United Kingdom were to ratify can the agreement enter into force. They are legally fully allowed to do so, but personally I consider it unlikely that they at present will want to take this step.

In all other scenarios, the entry into force will be delayed. Even if the United Kingdom ratifies now, it is unclear what should happen if they leave the EU, but try to stay in the unified patent agreement.

Photo "Tullips in the rain" by Cicely Miller via Flickr under a CC-By 2.0 license (no changes made).

Thursday, 4 August 2016

UK Intellectual Property Office makes statement on UPC: no immediate changes


The intellectual property office of the UK has made a brief statement on the unitary patent after the Brexit. According to IPO:
The UK remains a Contracting Member State of the Unified Patent Court at present. We will continue to attend and participate in UPC meetings in that capacity. There will be no immediate changes.
This is the full statement regarding the unitary patent. I can imagine what those UPC meetings will be about, as the unitary patent's future is really murky right now. Different options are on the table, but all of them have downsides. Could the UK live with a UPC agreement that is full of references to EU law? Could the EU live with a UPC member that is not an EU member? There are many more questions than answers.

The statement also mentions other IE rights. If the IE right is not based on EU law, there is no problem (EPC, Madrid system), but what should happen to EU trademarks, and EU designs?


Photo by Couleur via Pixabay under a CC0 license (no changes made).

Monday, 18 July 2016

Battistelli considers unitary patent with UK a 'best case scenario'


Battistelli, the EPO President, discusses two possible scenario's for the future of the unitary patent after the UK voted to leave the EU in the Brexit referendum, in his Blog 'The future of the Unitary Patent package'.

According to Battistelli, "In the best case scenario, the UK could go ahead as soon as possible with the ratification of the UPC Agreement. This would allow the UK afterwards, in its EU exit negotiations, to obtain its continuous participation both in the Unified Patent Court and the Unitary Patent." This option follows the scenario proposed by Hoyng, that we discussed earlier on this Blog. Eplit, the European patent litigator association,  has sent a letter to  Lucy Neville-Rolfe, Minister for Intellectual Property, urging here to take this route and ratify the Agreement.

The advantages are clear, the unitary patent can go ahead as planned, and the UK buys time at least until their formal exit out of the EU on how to proceed. In the meantime a solution can be found that finds a place for the UK in the unitary patent. Either through a creative interpretation of the Agreement on a unified patent court (namely, you should be a EU member to become a participant not not to stay  participant) or in the form of an amendment or side-agreement. The latter options would have my preference, as they give more legal certainty.

In an article at Out-Law, Deborah Bould considers this approach unlikely. "It seems politically unrealistic to suggest that the UK ratifies the UPC Agreement now, to help get the unitary patent system off the ground, and then tries to negotiate to stay in as part of the UK’s exit terms," Bould said. At first glance, it does indeed seems illogical to ratify an agreement that further limits national sovereignty in favor of a pan-European court  just after a brexit vote. On the other hand, a UK in the unitary patent fits nicely in the 'soft brexit' model, in which a close relationship with the rest of the EU is maintained.
 
The alternative considered by Battistelli is to amend the Agreement and continue without the UK. This would give a unitary patent in which the UK is absent, but which still has countries like Germany, France, Italy and the Netherlands, that hopefully will make this 'unitary patent light' sufficiently attractive to be a viable option.

Bould offers yet a further alternative in which the Agreement on a unified patent court is renegotiated and opened up to all EPC member states who are not EU states. I presume Battisteli's option would be easier to obtain, but Bould's suggestion has the advantage that  states like Norway, Switzerland and Turkey could also join the unitary patent. I'm not sure though if it is necessary to codify access to the unitary patent to all EPO states. If the UK can be included in the unitary patent through a kind of extension agreement, then I do not see why a similar agreement can't be made with other EPO member states.
 
In any case, any tampering with the Agreement would take time, and delay the unitary patent, but that is a reality that seems inevitable in any scenario.

Photo by Clker-Free-Vector-Images via Pixabay under a CC0 license (no changes made). 




Friday, 15 July 2016

Ratification news: Bulgaria fully ratified, Netherlands moves forward

An EU flag waving in front of a Bulgarian courthouse


With all the commotion surrounding the brexit we neglected news of the countries that made progress towards ratification. First of all, Bulgaria has deposited its instrument of ratification and is the tenth state to do so.

In the Netherlands the parliament has accepted the Agreement on a unified patent court. The Netherlands can now proceed to deposit their instrument of ratification. They have not done so yet.

When the Netherlands completes this final part of their ratification they will be the 11th country. At that point an important milestone will be reached. Only the required countries Germany and the United Kingdom are then sufficient to reach 13 countries and make the unitary patent a reality. 

Nevertheless, all eyes are on the United Kingdom. Will they continue to ratify the Agreement even though they voted to leave the EU? I have not yet heard of any positive indication, that the United Kingdom is continuing  their ratification process. Feel free to mail me any news about it.

Photo by Wengen via Pixabay under a CC0 license (no changes made) 

Wednesday, 29 June 2016

Brexit? What brexit?


The UK should ratify the agreement on a unified patent court, get the unitary patent started and continue to be a member even after the Brexit is formalized.

This is the position taken by Willem Hoyng (member of the drafting committee of the UPC Rules of Proceedings and well known litigator) over at EPLAW.

This means the unitary patent system should soon come into effect as if no Brexit ever happened. London would keep its court, the EU would have its unitary patents, and everybody would be happy. Unitary patents would not necessarily be valid in the UK, but even this might be arranged with a separate international “Extension Agreement”.

According to Hoyng this is possible because the agreement on a unified patent court is an international treaty not an EU regulation, just like the  European Patent Convention. Although, the
agreement does not allow the participation of non-EU Member States, it is not required to leave the unified patent court should a country become a non-Member State.

Among the respondents at EPLAW is Leo Steenbeek (Principal IP Counsel of Philips), and he does not agree. Apart from the question whether it would make sense for country to engage in further international cooperation when it wishes to retreat from EU, there is also a question if the Court of Justice would allow this.

The position of the UK would be a bit like the one originally envisioned for Italy, part of the UPC but not (yet) of the unitary patent. If Hoyng says it's possible I'm willing to listen, but some confirmation on the legality of all this would be good. For example, an opinion of the Court of Justice on this would give the legal certainty needed for this venture. Moreover, whether there is the political will to make this happen? I'm not so sure. 

In any case, whether or not the UK can stay in after the Brexit, in any scenario it would be best if the UK would continue to ratify the agreement without delay. At least this would allow a unitary patent without the UK, and who knows, perhaps a bit more.

Photo by skeeze via Pixabay under a CC0 license (no changes made).

Friday, 24 June 2016

A new Unitary patent after UK leave-vote?


Yesterday the UK voted to leave the European Union. I find it really sad that they have decided that they're better off without us. Anyway, that is how it is.

So what will this mean for the unitary patent?

With the options that are currently on the table, either the UK ratifies as planned in which case there needs to be no delay at all, or the UK does not ratify. In the latter case, the unitary patent could still come into effect, but only after the UK formally ceases to be an EU member. This will take years.

Another option is that the unitary patent is abandoned in its present form, and renegotiated. Participating in the unitary patent is at present restricted to EU member states. A new unitary patent could be open to, say, EPO member states.

Interestingly, the Agreement on a unitary patent court is not an EU regulation but an international agreement. So the door is already cracked open for a broader membership. On the other hand, the Agreement in its present wording is explicitly restricted to EU members, and makes numerous references to union law. In fact, the primacy of European Union law is explicitly recognized in the Agreement. Although, a full renegotiation of the unitary patent is possible, this option would certainly take many years as well.

They only option I can see which does not significantly delay the unitary patent is that the UK ratify the agreement. Rationally a case can be made for ratifying even while leaving. It is in everyone's interest to get a cheaper and easier patent system, even if only on the mainland. However, I'm not sure how high on the political agenda this topic will remain in the UK, given the numerous other issues that need to be sorted out. Moreover, this option would transfer further sovereignty, even if only temporarily. We'll have to wait and see.

Photo "Storm Chasing May 2014" by Craig ONeal via Flickr under a CC-By 2.0 license (no changes made)






Monday, 20 June 2016

Brexit and unitary patent



“Should the United Kingdom remain a member of the European Union or leave the European Union?” that is the question facing the United Kingdom coming Thursday, June 23. As Benoît Battistelli said, “If the ‘out’ vote wins then we have a big question mark—nobody knows what will happen”. We can make a few speculations though on the consequences of a 'leave' vote for the unitary patent.

Can the unitary patent system still get started?

There are basically two scenarios in which the unitary patent system can still get started if the UK were to leave the EU.

The first possibility is that after a leave vote, the UK will remain a member of the EU for several years to come. During that time the UK could ratify the agreement on a unified patent court. If that happens, and the unified patent picks up two further ratifications (which seems likely), the unitary patent is on its way. After that the UK can leave the EU, but the unitary patent will continue. An upside for the UK is that it would get a more cost-efficient way to get patent protection on the continent. A downside, is that they would have to leave the agreement on a unified patent court, right after ratifying it.

In this way, the unitary patent system could theoretically come into force without delay. However, I can't imagine that unitary patents will be high on the political agenda in the turmoil following a leave-vote. So at least some delay may still happen.

The other possibility is that the UK will not ratify the agreement. After the UK has formally left the EU, the next largest patent country after Germany and France could ratify the agreement and make the agreement enter into force. The agreement does not explicitly refer to the UK when it discusses the requirements for entry into force. Article 89 (entry into force) refers to "the three Member States in which the highest number of European patents had effect in the year preceding the year in which the signature of the Agreement takes place".  So if the UK leaves, some other country may take its place.

A problem with this scenario is that it can only take place if the UK has formally left the EU, which may take years. A significant delay will be the result. Probably, this will set back the unitary patent by years.

Interestingly, the required ratifications may happen before the UK leaves. This would mean that the unitary patent would come into force because the UK left the EU. This option could transpire, if three more counties beside the UK ratify.



If the unitary patent does enter into force, but the UK leaves, what would be different?
First of all, a unitary patent would not be valid in the UK. The unified patent court would not be competent in the UK.

It would still be possible to obtain patent protection in the UK. As the EPO is not an EU institute, a brexit would have no impact on EPO membership. Once a patent is granted at the EPO, the patent can be validated in the UK, just like in, say, Spain and Poland, while other countries may be covered by a unitary patent. National UK patents remain also a possibility.

Besides, the UK would lose its seat in the central division of the unified patent court. The UK had negotiated that part of the central court would go to London. If the UK is no longer an EU member, it cannot stay in the unitary patent either, and would have to give up this court. This also means that the agreement on a unified patent court probably needs amendment, as it refers explicitly to London. It is not known, if the London seat would go to another country, or if the central court be located in Paris and Munich only.


Photo "Bury St Edmunds 9th Annual Christmas Fayre 23-11-2012", by Karen Roe via Flickr under a CC-By license, no changes made.



Wednesday, 8 June 2016

EPO produces unitary effect simulation tool


The EPO has created a plug-in for their online  filing software that simulates the acts you would take to request unitary effect.
 
The procedure to get a unitary patent is almost the same as the current procedure to get a  'classical' European patent. Only after the decision to grant will the two procedures differ. Whereas a classical European patent needs validation in each country in which it is to remain valid, a unitary patent requires that the applicant request unitary effect with the EPO. 

 Requesting unitary effect will be possible using the online filing software that are currently used by most patent firms to interact with the EPO. As the time limit on requesting unitary effect is quite short, it is important that the requesting is easy to do and will not often go wrong. This should be possible as requesting unitary effect does not require a fee, and has few formalities.

Using the  demo software, a user can simulate the acts for requesting unitary effect. Of course any action in the demo software will have no legal effect. Only when the unitary effect has come into effect will the operational version of the software be made available.


The unitary patent demo software can be downloaded here.

Photo 'free wheelin' by Mark Ittleman via Flickr under a CC-By license; image was cropped and edited.

Friday, 13 May 2016

Italy start ratification process of Unitary Patent


There are positive developments in Italy.  According to this website of the Italian Government a proposal for ratification of the Agreement of a Unified Patent court has been approved (scroll down to 'UN TRIBUNALE UNIFICATO PER I BREVETTI'). The law has not yet been finalized, and could still be rejected, but this is another step on the way of Italian ratification. I would expect that the ratification will proceed according to plan. Last year, Italy made a turn around and embraced the unitary patent, while at first they were outside the enhanced cooperation.

Below is our translation of the news:
 
Unified patent court
 Ratification and execution of the agreement on the Unified patent court (law’s proposal)

The Council of Ministers has approved a law proposal of ratification and execution of the agreement on the Unified patent court stipulated in Bruxelles on 19/02/2013

A fast ratification of the agreement will allow to complete the participation of Italy in the European Unified Patent system.

This will allow Italian innovators to use a patent right valid in all Europe. Moreover, protection against counterfeit products entering EU will be strengthened.

When the agreement on the Unified Patent Court will be enforced, it will be possible to have in Italy a local division of the Unified Patent Court: a project that could potentially enhance Italian resources and provides a signal on the willingness of Italian Government to protect and promote Italian language in Europe.
Photo by Ewan Topping via Flickr under CC-By 2.0


Wednesday, 9 March 2016

UK passes legislation for unitary patent, no ratification yet




A good month after publishing the draft legislation to amend the UK Patents Act, the UK parliament has now passed it (House of Commons on 1 March and the House of Lords on 2 March). Amending the Patent Act was necessary to adopt the unitary patent.

During the debate, Mr. Edward Vaizey (The Minister for Culture and the Digital Economy) notes that "We think that the new court and patent will be ready for business in early 2017." Indeed, the mandatory three participants have now ratified the agreement or are about to.  Two more ratifying countries are needed after Germany and the UK ratified, but this will likely not be a problem.

We are still waiting for the UK to formally ratify the Agreement on a Unified patent court. Will this happen before or after the EU referendum of 23 June? I suppose passing this legislation means that the UK government could ratify the agreement if they wanted to. I'm not sure that this is going to happen though. It may mean a hasty retreat if the referendum goes sour, after just a few months in the new system. For the UK it may be preferable to avoid this. On the other hand, even outside the EU, it is preferable for UK to have an easier option to obtain a patent in the continent. So who know what will happen.

Photo "'Belinda' Flying the Flag", by Peter Trimming via Flickr under a CC BY 2.0 license.

Thursday, 3 March 2016

Unified patent court finalizes fees and cancels opt-out fee

Opting out of the Unified Patent Court will be free!

The Preparatory Committee of the Unified patent court has decided on the Court fees and recoverable costs. The final 'Rules on Court fees and recoverable costs' is available here. 

Last year, a draft had already been published for public consultation. That draft contained two options. In a first alternative, various fee reductions are given for behavior that reduce court costs, e.g., for settling, especially early settling, or having only one judge. In the second alternative, small, and medium-sized enterprises, non-profit organizations, and public research organizations were given a fee exemption.

The final rules present a compromise between these two positions. As in alternative one, a reimbursement of court fees is available for, e.g., withdrawing and settling. Small entities do pay court fees but get a reduction of 40%.

In the fees themselves some changes have been made. The additional value based court fee for smaller action has been reduced, e.g., the value-based fee for actions up to a million euro went down from 5000 euro to 4000 euro, while the fees for larger actions has been increased, e.g., value-based fee for actions up to a 20 million went up from 85.000 euro to 100.000 euro. The value-based fee for the largest actions went up by almost 50% to 325.000 euro. Applications to be set aside by default were reduced from 3.000 euro to 1.000 euro. 

The ceilings for recoverable costs have been adjusted (mostly downwards) and a number of articles have been added that clarify what these costs cover. Moreover, the court is allowed to increase the ceilings in case multiple languages are used. 

The big surprise in the new rules is the cancellation of the opt-out fee. In the previous draft applying or withdrawing an opt-out costed 80 euro. In the new and final draft both are free. One problem with the organization of the opt-out system was paying for them. It had been rumored that an opt-out would have to be paid for individually by credit card. If one would have to opt-out a few thousand patents, it might mean a lot of work just paying the opt-out fees. These problems are mooted by cancelling the opt-out fee.

Photo "Free" by Ganesha Balunsat via Flickr under a CC BY 2.0 license.


Wednesday, 17 February 2016

Germany starts ratification unified patent court

Things are speeding up for unitary patent in Germany

At last Germany has started the ratification of the Agreement on a unified patent court and thus also on the unitary patent. Although no-one doubted that Germany would eventually ratify, we had no news that the ratification was actually being prepared.

The ratification of Germany, France, and the United Kingdom is required before the unitary patent comes into effect. The United Kingdom had already started the ratification process, and France ratified already in 2014. Now also Germany has started the ratification process.

The Bundesjustizministerium (Federal Ministry of Justice) has published two law proposals. The first proposal is to ratify the unified patent court. The other one contains changes to the German patent law to accommodate the unitary patent. (Both are in German).

According to Juve (German), there are some concerns about how the proposed law regulates the prohibition on double patenting and the enforcement of decisions of the UPC. 


This step brings the unitary patent a lot closer. The unitary patent system enters into force on the first day of the fourth month after the 13th state, but including Germany and the United Kingdom, ratify the agreement. Currently, nine countries ratified. So to get an entry into force in 2016, we need Germany and the United Kingdom, plus two additional countries to finish ratification within the next half year. I'm not sure if that is possible, but a launch in early 2017 is certainly in the cards.

Photo "World Championship 2015 - sleddog race" by Ralf Κλενγε, via Flickr, under CC-By 2.0 license. 



Wednesday, 10 February 2016

Spain: Just English or either include Spanish

American films in Spain
 In an interview in World IP Review Ms. Garcia-Escudero the head of the Spanish patent office (OEPM) looks back on the negotiations for the unitary patent system:
“During the negotiations, one of our proposals was either to include the Spanish language or to have just one official language: English. They didn’t approve either offer, so we stayed out.”
The unitary patent favors the official languages of the EPO: English, German and French. Since the unitary patent is linked to the existing European patent, the unitary patent uses the same official languages. Spain, and also Italy, do not agree with this.

There may be some problems with the offers suggested by Spain. The EU cannot change the official languages of the EPO, since the European Patent Convention (EPC) is not an EU regulation but an international agreement. In fact some members of the EPC are not EU members. Changing the EPC, although possible, is a lengthy undertaking.

Realistically, one could at best desire that if a unitary patent is granted by EPO in a language different from English, then the proprietor should provide an English translation. However, a requirement like this has been adopted in the unitary patent. A request for unitary effect must include a full translation of the specification of the European patent into English if the language of the proceedings is French or German (Article 6(1)(a), Council regulation 1260/2012). Admittedly, this is only required during a transitional period (up to 12 years). To make things fair, you also have to submit a translation if the language of the proceedings was English, but in this case you can pick any official EU language you like.


After negotiations within the EU broke down, the EU used the--rarely used--possibility of 'enhanced cooperation' (Article 20 of the European Union Treaty). 'Enhanced' cooperation allows some member states to be excluded from the cooperation. In this case Spain and Italy who remained opposed to the new unitary patent were excluded. Italy has later rejoined the unitary patent system (while stressing that it remained opposed to the language regime).

Spain and (in part) Italy have complained about this with the  EU Court of Justice. The court agreed that the Spanish language was treated differently, but that this was allowable if it this was needed to get a cost efficient system.

The absence of Spain from the unitary patent will force us to “reflect on the importance of the Spanish language and technology”, according to Garcia-Escudero. The absence of Spain, the fifth EU economy by GDP, is indeed regrettable and will make the unitary patent a bit less attractive. In any case it will force a proprietor of a unitary patent to reflect if it wants to additionally validate the corresponding European patent in Spain (this is allowed).

Italy has since decided that a strong patent that is valid European wide is too important, and has decided to join the unitary patent system after all even though it is not happy with the languages. Hopefully, Spain will do the same someday.

Photo "American films in Spain" by Brian Snelson via Flickr under CC-BY 2.0 license

Monday, 25 January 2016

United Kingdom publishes draft legislation for Unitary Patent law

Spring in London

The UK government has published draft legislation to amend the UK Patents Act. The changes allow the unitary patent and unified patent court in the united kingdom. The order, which has the longish citation title " Patents (European Patent with Unitary Effect and Unified Patent Court) Order 2016", is laid before Parliament for approval by resolution of each House of Parliament.


The legislation has the form of a 'Statutory Instrument' . According to IPKat approval for a Statutory Instrument is usually quite quick. Once the order has been approved the UK can ratify the Agreement on a Unified patent court. I'm told that the planning is for the legislation to be completed by spring 2016.

The government also published a response to the a consultation on the unitary patent. The response is published here.

Photo "Spring in London" by DncnH via Flickr under a CC-By license.


Thursday, 21 January 2016

Finland ratifies Unitary Patent

Finnish Parliament

Finland has fully ratified the 'Agreement on a Unified Patent Court' by depositing its instrument of ratification. By ratifying the agreement it will be possible to get protection for an invention through a unitary patent in Finland together with all other countries that have ratified the unitary patent. Moreover, the unified patent court will have jurisdiction to decide over both unitary patents but also 'classic' European patents that have been validated for Finland (unless opted-out).


The website of the Finish parliament shows two acts that are related to the Finish ratification, both from January 13, 2016.

23/2016
Laki patenttilain muuttamisesta, 13.1.2016

22/2016 Suomeksi På svenska
Laki yhdistetystä patenttituomioistuimesta tehdyn sopimuksen lainsäädännön alaan kuuluvien määräysten voimaansaattamisesta ja sopimuksen soveltamisesta , 13.1.2016


According to Google Translate these are an  'Act amending the Patents Act' and a 'Law on the unified patent court bringing into force the provisions pertaining to the law of the agreement and the application of the Agreement'. If Google Translate does not deceive me then the latter allows Finland to also sign the
Protocol on provisional application of the Unified Patent Court Agreement; Finland has not yet done so.


The full list of countries that have currently ratified the agreement is: Austria, Belgium, Denmark, France, Luxembourg, Malta, Portugal, Sweden, and Finland. Including the mandatory countries United Kingdom and Germany, we are now two countries short of the set of 13 countries required for the unitary patent system to start.

I haven't seen heard if Finland has decided to have a local unified patent court.

 Photo "Kyösti Kallio and Parliament House of Finland" by Tomi Lattu via Flickr, under CC-BY-2.0 license