On April 26th, the United Kingdom became the nation to ratify the Unitary Patent Court agreement, bringing the Unitary Patent closer to reality. Once in force, the agreement will make it possible to enforce IP rights across all countries that have ratified the agreement via a single court. With its implementation, the UPC agreement will bring forth closer European integration as regards patent litigation.
As our readers may recall, to enter into force, the UPC must be ratified by at least 13 nations, as well as all three of Germany, France and the UK (as the three nations with the largest number of active European patents). After Brexit, all eyes have been on the UK, as the UPC agreement was suddenly up in the air again. With the ratification by the UK, the last obstacle on the path to a Unitary Patent remains a German constitutional court challenge to the agreement, still pending at this date. The pressure is now on, and many heads will turn toward Germany with the hope and expectation to resolve the challenge quickly.