The Bill authorising France’s ratification of the Agreement on the Unified Patent Court was adopted today by the Assemblée Nationale. The Bill will now be sent to the President to be promulgated, after which it will be published in the Official Journal. France is one of the three mandatory ratification countries, the others being UK (where a Bill is progressing through parliament) and Germany (where progress is being made since the elections). Austria ratified on 7 August 2013, but nine other countries must ratify in order for the UPC regime to come into effect. In Malta, legislation was adopted by the House of Representatives on 21 January 2014 and the instrument of ratification is expected to be deposited in Brussels shortly. Other countries are at various stages, e.g. Belgium is expected to ratify by Easter, Denmark is holding a referendum on 25 May 2014, and Ireland will hold a referendum but no date has yet been announced.