On 30 September 2015, the European Commission adopted COMMISSION DECISION (EU) 2015/1753 of 30 September 2015, confirming the participation of Italy in enhanced cooperation in the area of the creation of unitary patent protection.

Regulations (EU) No 1257/2012 (the Unitary Patent Regulation) and (EU) No 1260/2012 (the Translation Regulation) accordingly entered into force into Italy immediately, on 30 September 2015. However, they will only take effect in Italy, as in all the other EU member states participating in the enhanced co-operation process, when the Agreement on the Unified Patent Court enters into force.

The Commission stated in its press release (available here) that Italy’s acceptance ‘is a major breakthrough as Italy is the fourth biggest market in Europe in terms of patent validation’. Italy brings the total of EU Member States participating in the unitary patent to 26. Spain and Croatia are the only Member States who are not currently participating.  Poland is participating formally but has not yet signed the Agreement on the Unified Patent Court (“UPC Agreement”). Until it does so, any unitary patents granted by the EPO will not take effect in Poland.