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Romania to Become UPC Member State as of 1 September 2024

Further to our previous update on progress towards Romania becoming a new UPC member state, Romania deposited its instrument of ratification of the Unified Patent Court Agreement (UPCA) on 31 May 2024. According to this page of the Unified Patent Court’s website, the UPCA will enter into force in Romania on 1 September 2024. From this date, Romania will be the 18th contracting state and the first to join the UPC since its opening on 1 June 2023.

Unitary patents registered on or after 1 September 2024 will cover 18 states, including Romania. Unitary patents already registered before this date will continue not to cover Romania. National validations in Romania will also be subject to the UPC’s jurisdiction unless the European patent is opted out.

Applicants who have a European patent application which is at the allowance/grant stage, and who wish to elect for a unitary patent, may wish to delay proceeding with registration of unitary effect in order to allow for Romania to also be covered by the unitary patent. In this regard, the EPO have today issued a notice indicating that requests will now be accepted for a delay of the registration of unitary effect until the UPCA enters into force in Romania. Please contact your usual J A Kemp attorney for advice regarding available options for registering a unitary patent on or after 1 September 2024, so as to also cover Romania.