On September 20th 2013 the Preparatory Committee launched a call for expression of interest for legally as well as technically qualified judges for the UPC. One of the priorities identified in the Preparatory Committee roadmap is in fact to contribute to the nomination process of the first group of candidate judges and to ensure the organisation of the training of candidate judges in the preparatory phase. The closing date is 15 November 20.
For more information see the UPC website.
According to the newspaper Berlingske Tidende the Danish Government has included a bill in its legislative proposals to join the Unified Patent Court. The Minister for Trade and European Affairs, Nick Hækkerup declared about the bill that “(the) roadmap is to publish (the government’s proposals) and argue why the parliament should support this. It’s so obviously in our interest because it would also protect the inventions that are being made in Denmark”. It will not however be straightforward for Denmark to join the UPC. In fact because Denmark has an opt-out from EU legislation on Justice, if more than 80% of its MPs decide to vote against the bill, the Danish government will need to call for a referendum.
More information here.
On 7th August 2013, Austria became the first country to ratify the Agreement on the Unified Patent Court. However for the UPC Agreement to enter into force, thirteen instrument of ratification, including Germany, France and the United Kingdom are deposited.
France introduced a bill for the ratification of the UPC Agreement on 23rd October in the French Senate. For more information see “News: Ratification of the UPC Agreement by the French Prime Minister”
In the United Kingdom, the UPC Agreement was laid before Parliament on 14 June 2013. The Agreement must also be given effect in UK law before it can be ratified. This will mean making changes to UK law to ensure that it complies with the provisions of the UPC Agreement. The first step of this process is provided for in the Intellectual Property Bill introduced into Parliament on 9 May 2013. Clause 17 of the IP Bill will enable the Government to make the detailed changes to UK law at a later date using secondary legislation which will be considered by both Houses of Parliament.