On 30 September 2015, Italy joined the unitary patent. Italy will thus form part of both the unitary patent and the Unified Patent Court (UPC) upon entry into force. So reports the Commission of the EU here.
Italy is the country in which the fourth largest number of European patents is validated. The Italian decision is therefore very good news for patent applicants with an interest in the Italian market, as the present requirement of a complete translation into Italian in order to validate a granted European patent in Italy will thus become obsolete upon entry into force of the unitary patent.
Hence, the unitary patent with its single procedure for the registration of patents in all participating countries has with Italy joining become even more attractive for small and large applicants alike.
The unitary patent and the UPC will enter into force simultaneously when at least 13 out of the 26 member states with Germany, France and the UK being mandatory have ratified the agreement. At the time of writing this a total of 8 of the member states have ratified the UPC, namely Denmark, Sweden, France, Austria, Belgium, Portugal, Malta and Luxembourg.
It is at present expected that the unitary patent and the UPC will enter into force by the end of 2016 or at latest in the beginning of 2017.
Troels Peter Rørdam, European Patent Attorney & Certified Danish Patent Agent