Update (10 December 2014)
According to the website of the Council of the European Union, Malta deposited its instrument of ratification on 9 December 2014 to become the sixth country to complete its ratification formalities. Malta joins Denmark, Belgium, Sweden, France and Austria as one of the six countries who have completed their ratification processes.
Now that Malta has joined the “ratification” group it means that the “Malta Problem”, which is discussed in depth here, will kick in once the unitary patent system is up and running. In a nutshell, no European patent application filed before 1 March 2007, and which is still pending, will be eligible to become a unitary patent (assuming it grants after the unitary patent system goes live).
Recent unitary patent themed seminars have given the impression that additional UPC ratifications in 2014 were unexpected so this news is something of a surprise. However, we had heard suggestions back in January this year that Malta might have ratified. If the news story we picked up on earlier in the year was correct then presumably Malta delayed depositing its instrument of ratification for nearly a year for some reason.
IPcopy’s ratification infographic has been updated to reflect the news from Malta (for an answer to the question “What’s up with this infographic?“, please see the bottom of the post!”).