Hot on the heels of Sweden (see earlier article here), Belgium has become the fourth participating State to deposit its instrument of ratification of the Unified Patent Court agreement with the General Secretariat of the Council of the European Union.

The Belgian Parliament passed the law authorising ratification of the UPC Agreement before the national elections on 24 May and the deposit of the instrument of ratification, which occurred on 6 June 2014, was the final step required for ratification to have effect under Article 89(1) of the UPC Agreement.

Belgium plans to establish a local division of the UPC in Brussels which will operate in four languages: French, Dutch, German and English.

At least 13 of the participating countries, including France, Germany and the United Kingdom, must ratify the agreement before it can come into force.

The European Commission’s table showing the progress of ratification can be found here.

More information about recent progress toward the Unified Patent Court and European Unitary Patent can be found here.