New court for EU patent signed off
The final agreement needed to set up an EU-wide patent system was officially signed in Brussels, Belgium in February. The international agreement establishes a Unified Patent Court (UPC) and is the third element of the patent package. Deals on two EU regulations governing patents and the language regime were settled in December 2012 ( Agrow No 655, p 7). The UPC agreement operates outside EU legislation and requires ratification from 13 countries before coming into force. The European Commission is confident that the first registration of an EU patent will be granted in spring 2014.