2016 for the first Unitary Patents?
There have been a number of noteworthy news items in the last few weeks that all point towards the future of the proposed Unitary Patent and Unified Patent Court drawing ever closer, and possibly even on improved terms for users.
Following the dismissal of Spain’s challenge to the UP/UPC legislation, Italy released statement to say it was to prioritise joining the unitary patent; a notable shift in position. If the UP now has the potential to cover Italy, it will no doubt be more attractive to users of the system.
The EPO also released a revised UP renewal fees proposal, which would see UP renewal fees over 20 years decrease by more than €2,000 compared to the first proposed cost.
A constitutional challenge by Belgium on the UPC Agreement has also now been dropped, so is no longer a potential cause of frustration to the UPC’s progress.
Some commentators are saying 2016 could see the first UPs, but with the UK and Germany and at least 4 other States still to ratify, we still think that seems optimistic. But 2017 might be a safe bet.