The Unified Patent Court (UPC) Preparatory Committee published news yesterday on its estimated timeline for the UPC. This follows the coming into force of the German legislation enabling Germany to ratify the UPC Agreement and its Protocol on Provisional Application (PAP-Protocol); as reported here, the final steps were taken for the legislation to come into force after the BVerfG (Federal Constitutional Court) dismissed the interim injunction applications in two complaints against that legislation. As the Preparatory Committee reports, Germany’s ratification of the PAP-Protocol can now take place “imminently”.
The Preparatory Committee also reports that the consents of two more countries to the PAP-Protocol entering into force are expected this autumn. This will trigger the start of the provisional application period (PAP), when the UPC’s legal capacity and organisational capability will be established and final preparations for the Court’s opening will be made. The Preparatory Committee estimates these preparations will take about 8 months, the work including assembly of the Court’s governing bodies, adoption of all the secondary legislation, and finalisation of the budget, the IT systems and the recruitment of the judges. When the participating countries are confident that the UPC can start in an orderly manner, Germany will deposit its instrument of ratification of the UPC Agreement with the General Secretariat of the Council of the EU. The UPC Agreement will enter into force on the first day of the fourth month after the deposit, and the Court will open. The Preparatory Committee concludes: “At this point in time, it is estimated that the UPC will start operations around mid-2022.”