On 31 May 2024, Romania deposited its instrument of ratification and will accede to the Unified Patent Court Agreement (UPCA) on 1 September 2024.

Romania is the 18th country to ratify the Agreement on a Unified Patent Court (UPCA). Article 89(2) UPCA prescribes that a ratification shall enter into force on the first day of the fourth month following the deposit of the instrument of ratification. This means that the agreement enters into force in Romania on 1 September 2024. Thus, as of September this year, granted European patents with Unitary Effect (UPs) will also cover Romania.

Mr. Klaus Grabinski, President of the Court of Appeal and Ms. Florence Butin, President of the Court of First Instance welcomed the news that Romania has deposited its instrument of ratification of the UPCA.

If an applicant who wishes to cover Romania by a UP fears that a patent in question will become granted before 1 September, i.e. “too early.” There are means to delay the grant procedure. Assume that a communication under Rule 71(3) EPC has been issued and the 4-month time limit to respond is soon to expire. In such circumstances we recommend that the applicant submits a response with the EPO under Rule 71(6) EPC indicating that the applicant does not consent to the text in which the Examining Division intends to grant the patent, for example by suggesting a minor amendment or correction to the text. As a result, the EPO will issue another communication under Rule 71(3) EPC with a new 4-month time limit to respond, thus ensuring that the Decision to Grant will occur later than 1 September.

Text: Joakim Wihlsson
Source: UPC website