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Important Step Forward for UPC as Germany Ratifies PAP-Protocol

Following rejection of the constitutional challenge against Germany's participation in the Unified Patent Court (UPC) reported here, on 27 September 2021 Germany ratified the Protocol on the Provisional Application of the UPC Agreement (PAP-Protocol). The PAP-Protocol brings certain aspects of the UPC Agreement into force provisionally, allowing the UPC to be set up as an institution before the UPC system itself is fully operational. This includes the recruitment of judges and budgeting arrangements for the court.

Two further countries are required to ratify the PAP-Protocol before the phase of provisional application of the UPC agreement can officially start. It has been reported that Slovenia has also recently ratified the PAP-Protocol and that Austria is likely to do so soon. Completion of the remaining ratifications of the PAP-Protocol will effectively establish the UPC as an operational international organisation.

This is an important step forwards for the UPC. Once the UPC preparations are complete, it is intended that Germany will deposit the final ratification required for the UPC Agreement to come into force. This will start the four-month period leading to the day the UPC is able to take its first cases.