The Austrian Foreign Ministry proudly announced on 8 August 2013 that Austria has become the first EU member state to ratify the Unified Patent Court (UPC).

This is a significant step towards the UPC becoming a reality.  The Agreement will come into force once the UK, France, Germany and 9 other member states also ratify the Agreement.

The Agreement establishing a Unified European Patents Court was officially signed on Tuesday 19th February 2013, in Brussels (see report here). The agreement is part of the ‘Unitary Patent Package’ which also includes the creation of a unitary patent right covering the majority of EU states.

As previously reported here, Croatia has recently joined the EU and now has the opportunity to accede to the Agreement.  Polish politicians have indicated that Poland will not yet sign the Agreement.  Instead, Poland will wait to see how the system is implemented in other countries.