Malta has now deposited its instrument of ratification of the UPC Agreement in Brussels with the General Secretariat of the Council of the European Union, so completing the final step required for its ratification to have effect under Article 89(1) of the Agreement. Malta is the sixth member state to deposit its instrument of ratification, the others having done so being Austria, Belgium, Denmark, France and Sweden. Although Malta adopted legislation ratifying the UPC Agreement in January, the news of this final step was rather unexpected given the reports from the UPC Preparatory Committee meeting in November that no more signatory states were intending to ratify this year. Now Malta has ratified, the “Malta problem” rises nearer to the surface, i.e. any European patent application filed before 1 March 2007 (when Malta joined the EPC) will not satisfy a literal interpretation of Article 3(1) of Regulation 1257/2012 (the “Unitary Patent Regulation” – here) and, therefore, cannot be granted as a unitary patent.
Council’s table on ratification progress – here