On 19 February 2013, during the meeting of the Competiveness Council held in Brussels, the Ministers of 24 member countries of the European Union, including Italy, signed the International Agreement on the Unified Patent Court.
Bulgaria, which had not initially agreed, signed the agreement on 5 March 2013, thus becoming the twenty-fifth country to sign, while so far Spain and Poland have not yet signed.
Once the agreement comes into force, the signatory countries will form a unified territory with regard to patent rights.
The Court will be advantageous for anyone who starts more than one case of patent annulment in the countries of the European Union, because it limits the number, simplifies the management of the cases inside the Company and prevents discordant judgments from country to country.
However, it has three defects: it increases the costs of translation for Italian Companies, because procedures are only in English, German or French; it can cancel the patent in all the signatory countries; and it does not legislate in countries that are not members of the European Union.