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UK Progress on Unitary Patent (UP) and Unified Patent Court (UPC)

The UK has become the ninth state to depositthe document required to apply the Protocol on Provisional Application (PPA) which is an essential step towards formation of the UPC. Four more deposits, including that of Germany, are required for the PPA to come into force which will allow the UPC to gain legal personality and start the process of selecting Judges and formally to adopt the Rules of Procedure. As reported previously, the UK Government has also laid secondary legislation before Parliament which will enable UK Ratification, foreseen in autumn 2017.

Should the UK Ratification process proceed as expected, the final major obstacle to the UP and UPC coming into force is the constitutional challenge to German ratification. It is understood that the application for interim relief in Germany which led to the German Constitutional Court asking the German Federal President not to ratify the UPC, is likely to be heard in autumn 2017, meaning that the PPA could come into force before the end of 2017, with the sunrise period starting in early 2018.