Netherlands – 11th State to Ratify UPC Agreement

September 2016

In spite of the post-Brexit uncertainty over the unitary patent and unified patent court, the Netherlands has become the 11th Member State to ratify the Agreement on the UPC.

It has been speculated that the participating EU Member States will re-locate the London section of the UPC's Central Division to a country within the EU following Brexit. Given that the potential contenders for the Court's new location are Milan and The Hague, the Netherlands has put itself in a good position now it has ratified the UPC agreement.

However, there is still a shadow cast over the ability for the UPC agreement to come into effect, as it can only come into effect when ratified by 13 participating countries, which must include the three EU Member States in which the most EPs had effect in 2012 (the year before the Agreement was signed) – France, Germany and the UK.

Although the UK’s Intellectual Property Office has stated that the “UK remains a Contracting Member State of the Unified Patent Court at present” and that the UK will continue to attend and participate in UPC meetings in that capacity, there is no indication that the UK will ratify the UPC Agreement as things currently stand regarding the UK’s Brexit from the EU. Read more about the UPC & Brexit here.