The Protocol to the Agreement on a Unified Patent Court on provisional application (PAP-Protocol) provides that it will “enter into force the day after 13 Signatory States of the Agreement on a Unified Patent Court including Germany, France and the United Kingdom have…ratified”. Despite the UK’s withdrawal from the UPC project, it has now come into force following Austria’s ratification meaning preparation to implement the UPC can begin. The main steps are:
- Agreeing the venue for the third court in the Central Division (following London’s departure)
- Ironing out issues with the case management IT system
- Appointing judges, administrative staff, and arbitrators/mediators
The rules of procedure of the UPC will also need to be finalised. Once the Court looks ready, Germany will deposit its instrument of ratification of the UPC Agreement. The UPC will open on the first day of the fourth month after the completion of this ratification process. The official UPC website says that the preparatory phase will take “at least 8 months”.