In its plenary session on Friday 19 November, Austria’s National Council unanimously approved the draft legislation enabling Austria to ratify the Protocol on the Provisional Application (PPA) of the Unified Patent Court Agreement (UPCA) (report, recording). The National Council’s approval followed the unanimous approval and report of its Committee on Research, Innovation and Digitisation. The bill has now passed to the Federal Council and was assigned yesterday to its Committee on Innovation, Technology and the Future. If the Federal Council raises no objections, the final steps to promulgation of the law are authentication by the Federal President, countersignature by the Federal Chancellor, and publication in the Federal Law Gazette.
If Austria does then ratify the PPA and deposit the instrument of ratification with the Council of the EU, sufficient countries will have ratified (or otherwise consented to be bound by the provisional application of certain UPCA provisions) for the provisional application phase to start, and final preparations for the introduction of the UPC and unitary patent system can start in earnest.