Draft legislation amending the Dutch Patents Act 1995 completed its passage through the Dutch parliament on 29 October 2019 (see here) when it was approved by the Senate (the First, or “upper”, Chamber of parliament). This followed approval by the House of Representatives (the Second, or “lower”, Chamber) on 3 October 2019. The amendments will adapt the national legislation to introduce unitary patent protection (as provided by Unitary Patent Regulation (EU 1257/2012)) and to reflect the substantive provisions of the Unified Patent Court (UPC) Agreement.
The UPC Agreement provisions are mainly the same as those currently in the Patents Act 1995 but minor “editorial” changes will be made to the wording to avoid legal uncertainty. Articles 53 and 54 of the Patents Act, which include the provisions on infringing and non-infringing acts, will be replaced by new wording; the one substantive change is the introduction of the “decompilation” provision in Article 27(k) of the UPC Agreement which is intended to allow the development of interoperable software.
The Netherlands has ratified the UPC Agreement (depositing its instrument of ratification in September 2016) and has consented to the Provisional Application Phase (PAP). It has also ratified the UPC’s Protocol on Privileges and Immunities (PPI) (depositing its instrument of ratification in April 2018), and its Council of Ministers has formally decided that there will be a local division of the UPC in The Hague.