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Unified Patent Court clears penultimate hurdle

The UK has ratified the European Unified Patent Court Agreement, meaning that only Germany now needs to pass it before the Europe-wide Unitary Patent can finally launch.

The UK ratified the agreement on 26 April, the European Patent Office announced. Once the deal is ratified by the German parliament, the launch of Unitary Patents will enable holders to gain patent protection in up to 26 EU member states through a single patent submission, hopefully saving time and money.

The agreement, which sets up a Unified Patent Court to oversee infringement and validity cases regarding the Unitary Patents, has to be passed by the UK, Germany, France and a total of 13 participating EU member states before the Unitary Patent can launch. France waved it through in 2014, and the UK’s ratification brings the total number to 16.

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