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Thursday, 5 May 2016

BREAKING! Italy nears UPC ratification with government approval of draft bill


The AmeriKat getting ready to visit
Italy's Italian UPC division 
After a sunny lunch this afternoon, the AmeriKat returned to her desk to find some very exciting news from her friends at leading Italian IP firm, Trevisan Cuonzo, about the status of Italy's UPC ratification process.  She hands over to Valerio Meucci who explains:
"On Friday, the Italian Government approved the draft bill for the ratification and implementation of the agreement establishing the Unified Patent Court. The press release accompanying the news states
"The Board of Ministers, upon proposal of the Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation Paolo Gentiloni, approved the draft bill of ratification and implementation of the agreement on a Unified Patent Court, made in Brussels on February 19th, 2013. A rapid ratification of the agreement will allow Italy’s full participation in the enhanced cooperation on the European patent with unitary effect. This further phase of the development of the single market will allow Italian innovative businesses to benefit from a single patent valid throughout the EU and assisted by a supranational unitary and specialized jurisdiction. In addition, the protection against the entry of infringing products into the EU market will be higher. The entry into force of the Agreement will allow the opening of a local division of the Unified Patent Court in Italy: a project with a significant potential in terms of enhancement of Italian capabilities, which gives a signal on the intention of the Government to continue protecting and promoting the Italian language in Europe"
With the approval of the draft bill, the Italian Government has now passed the ball to the Italian Parliament, which will have to approve the draft bill to make it effective. It is understood that the target deadline for completing ratification is by the end of 2016. Assuming Germany and UK ratify as planned this year, Italy's ratification means that only one additional Member State will be needed for the UPC to kick off under Article 89 of the Unified Patent Court Agreement.  That is, of course, leaving the potential risk of a Brexit out of the equation."
And who will lucky number 13 be?  The Netherlands, Lithuania or Bulgaria...?  Any takers?

2 comments:

TreatyNotifier said...

My guess is that the Netherlands will try to be with the first implementing countries at all cost... It passed the stage Italy currently is in months ago, and presented the agreement (well: the law approving the UPC Agreement) to parliament 2 months ago and is currently busy answering the first round of written questions by the responsible parliamentary committee. The government also requested the legislation to be fast-tracked.

However, there seems to be trouble with the advice of the Council of State (Raad van State) on the implementing legislation. The implementing legislation was thus not accompanying the approval of the agreement, when it was presented to parliament (which was the plan from the beginning), and the government has requested additional advice from the Council of State on "a new European patent system" (which is very special).

My guess therefore: NL will be nr 13, but the implementing legislation will come later....

Anonymous said...

My understanding is that, by agreement with other participants, Germany will hold back lodging the instrument of ratification until the Preparatory Committee has confirmed that all preparations are in place and the court is ready to run. As the Agreement has a dual threshold (13 states, including UK DE and FR), Germany is in a position of gatekeeper. This is a common sense position to take because it would be clearly undesirable to have the Agreement come into effect before the computer systems, court buildings and judicial appointments have been put in place. In these circumstances, I do not think the final ratification needed to bring the Agreement into effect is going to come as a surprise one morning. I think we will all know in advance.

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