• One Patent (and Court) to Rule Them All: An Unexpected European Decision?
  • December 22, 2012 | Author: Kevin White
  • Law Firm: Haynes and Boone, LLP - Irvine Office
  • Coming as a surprise to some, the European Parliament approved rules creating a Unified Patent Court and a Unitary Patent on December 11, 2012, after lengthy consideration. Hailed by many as an important step forward for European competitiveness in the intellectual property marketplace, the international agreement creating the Unified Court is set to go into effect at the later of January 1, 2014, or after thirteen contracting states ratify it (which must include the UK, France, and Germany among the thirteen). The European Union (EU) Unitary Patent will become an available option at the European Patent Office (EPO) at the same time. Based on the current political climate (and Parliament voting statistics), it appears likely that both will be effective for at least 25 member states by 2014.