Slovenia, Lithuania Move Closer to Ratification of UPC Agreement

Nov 30 2016 - 11:43

On September 22, 2016 Slovenia adopted a law ratifying the Unified Patent Court (UPC) Agreement. The law came into force on October 22, 2016.

As the national ratification procedure is completed, Slovenia can now deposit its instrument of ratification with the Council of the EU.

On November 3, 2016 Lithuania adopted two laws enabling it to ratify the UPC Agreement and its Nordic-Baltic Regional Division. 

The laws will enter into force on July 1, 2017, before which relevant amendments to the Lithuanian Patent Law will have to be adopted. The amendments have already been submitted to the Lithuanian Parliament.

The UPC Agreement was signed in Brussels on February 19, 2013. The UPC will be a court common to the contracting states and thus part of their judicial system. It will have exclusive competence with regard to European patents and European patents with unitary effect.

In 2014, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania and Sweden signed an agreement on the establishment of a Nordic-Baltic Regional Division of the UPC, whose seat and sub-registry will be in Stockholm, Sweden. It is expected that in some situations cases may be heard in Lithuania as well.

The future of the UPC was uncertain until the United Kingdom recently confirmed it is proceeding with preparations to ratify the UPC Agreement despite Brexit.

The Agreement enters into force on the first day of the fourth month after at least 13 member states have deposited their instrument of ratification, including the three states with most European patents (France, Germany and the United Kingdom).

Prepared by: Maja Žnidarič and Djurdja Krivokapić

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Source: Official Gazette of the Republic of Slovenia, Lithuanian State Patent Bureau, The Unified Patent Court

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