Belgium’s ratification of the Agreement on the Unified Patent Court (UPC) remains on track to take place before the national elections on 24 May 2014. In Belgium, the ratification of the UPC Agreement must (like any other treaty) be adopted by both the Senate and the House of Representatives. The draft law, having been approved by the Senate, was approved on 2 April 2014 by the Committee Foreign Affairs of the House of Representatives. The vote in plenary session (due just after Easter) is expected to be merely a formality. The final step required for Belgium’s ratification to have effect under Article 89(1) UPC Agreement is the deposit of the instrument of ratification in Brussels with the General Secretariat of the Council of the European Union.
The Belgian Council of Ministers had already agreed (almost a year ago) that Belgium would establish a local division of the UPC in Brussels, with the Court operating in four languages: French, Dutch and German (the national languages) and English.