At its last meeting on 19 October 2015, the UPC preparatory committee adopted the rules of procedure of the UPC, subject to some further adaptations once the committee has decided on the court fees. This represents a significant milestone in the progress of the UPC because the rules underpin the court 's framework and functioning.
The agreed rules are the 18th draft and are based on input made during a written consultation and an oral hearing. The rules of procedure can be found here.
The UPC preparatory committee is aiming to complete its work by mid-2016, in principle enabling the court to open in early 2017. However, the court will not become operational until the agreement has been ratified by at least thirteen member states including the states in which the highest number of European patents had effect in 2012, namely the United Kingdom (UK), France and Germany. Austria, France, Sweden, Belgium, Denmark, Malta, Luxembourg and Portugal have already ratified the agreement, but the UK and Germany have not.