Yesterday, 25th May 2014, Denmark held a referendum on joining the Unified Patent Court. Out of just over 2.3 million votes cast, 62.5% voted in favour of joining the Unified Patent Court. The Danish parliament is now free to complete ratification of the Unified Patent Court Agreement and, eventually, deposit its instrument of ratification with the EU Commission. Currently only Austria and France have made such a deposit.
The approval of the Agreement on the Unified Patent Court by Danish voters gives a very positive signal to all signatories and should encourage them to ratify without any further delay. As a first specialised court common to the Member States in the patent litigation area, the Court will open a new chapter in the history of both the patent system and judicial cooperation in the EU.
Commissioner Barnier’s press release is interesting in that it refers to ratification of the agreement being complete in Austria and France (which we know from the Ratification Progress page) but also complete in Malta and Belgium. As we’ve previously reported the state of Maltese ratification is a little unclear and the last we heard ratification in Belgium was waiting on Royal Assent.
Mark Richardson 26 May 2014