Finally, Europe will have a court to synthesize a single patent law. On February 19, 2013, representatives of two dozen European Union ("EU") member countries signed a treaty to establish a Unitary Patent Court ("UPC"). The UPC will have both trial and appeals divisions, and will be based in Paris, France.
Like the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit, which was created in 1982 to provide the United States with a more uniform federal common law of patents, the UPC will have, as one of its goals, the establishment of more consistent and predictable pan-European patent law. Once thirteen EU signatories ratify it, the UPC will be able to open for judicial business. Will a more harmonized European patent law lead to more innovation in Europe? The EU certainly hopes so, because innovation can spur economic growth, and the EU needs this desperately. In the meantime, one may hope for some Parisian patent panache and a whole new spirit of joie d'inventer.