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UPC – Romania ratifies UPC Agreement

24 May 2024

Sarah Taylor

Pinsent Masons

Romania has ratified the UPC Agreement (UPCA), with Law 81/2024 of 9 April 2024 entering into force on 14 April 2024

This means that the UPCA can enter into force in Romania on the first day of the fourth month after it deposits its instrument of ratification with the General Secretariat of the Council of the European Union (Article 89(2) UPCA).

It is presently unclear as to when it plans to deposit the instrument of ratification, but assuming it does so before the end of May 2024, it will become the 18th contracting member state of the UPCA on 1 September 2024. This means that Romania will become the first new UPC country after the court opened on 1 June 2023.

At that point, UPC decisions (including preliminary and final injunctions) and newly granted unitary patents will extend to Romania. Classic European patents which designate Romania, and which have not been opted out of the UPC, will be subject to dual UPC and national jurisdiction during the seven year (which may be extended to 14 years) transitional period.

With Romania now set to become the 18th UPC country, there are now only six UPCA signatory states that have not yet ratified the agreement: Cyprus, the Czech Republic, Greece, Hungary, Slovakia and Ireland. Earlier this year, the Irish government had confirmed an intention to hold a referendum on the country’s UPC membership. This was planned for 7 June, but has now been postponed, with the Irish Government noting that “more time is needed for public discourse and engagement on the matter to help inform the debate.” A new date has not yet been set. No current information is available on the intentions of the other five signatory states.