In December 2015, the European Patent Office issued a press release entitled "Unitary Patent ready to go", confirming that the Select Committee had formalised a series of agreements relating to the Unitary Patent comprising:
- Implementing rules
- Budgetary and financial rules
- Level of the renewal fees (i.e., the True Top 4 proposal equating to the renewal fees for Germany, France, UK and The Netherlands)
- The distribution of renewal fees between the EPO and the participating member states.
Now that the preparations for the Unitary Patent are complete, attention will turn to the outstanding issues relating to the Unified Patent Court, with the President of the EPO, Benoît Battistelli, saying: “…We are now legally, technically and operationally ready to deliver the unitary patent. The only remaining step is the opening of the Unified Patent Court and the finalisation of the ratification process at national level. We hope that this will happen in 2016…". A significant amount of progress needs to happen in 2016 for the UPC to be ‘ready to go’ but news is expected shortly on the costs of litigating in the UPC and the process of appointing judges.