Unified Patent Court
A single patent court for Member States of the European Union
The UPC will come into existence and start its operations when the UPC Agreement will enter into force.
According to Article 89 of the UPC Agreement, the Agreement will enter into force on the first day of the fourth month after the deposit of the thirteenth instrument of ratification, including Germany, France and Italy (the three Contracting Member States in which the highest number of European patents had effect in 2012).
After the ratification of already 16 Contracting Member States (including France and Italy) Germany deposited its instrument of ratification on 17 February 2023. This means that the UPC will come into existence on 1 June 2023.
Austria was the thirteenth Member State to be bound by the Protocol on Provisional Application of the UPC Agreement (see Website of the General Secretariat of the EU Council). The protocol entered into force on 19 January 2022 and triggered the start of the provisional application period.
Provided Article 3 of the PAP Protocol was drafted to mirror Art. 89 of the UPC Agreement, this means that the reference to Germany, France and the United Kingdom was meant to refer to the three Member States of the European Union whose ratification is required for the entry into force of the UPC Agreement under Article 89 i.e. "the three Member States in which the highest number of European patents had effect in the year preceding the year in which the signature of the Agreement took place."
The start of the provisional application means that the UPC as an organization is established, including the start of operation of the UPC's formal governing bodies.
On the UPC Website a "Legal documents" section has been set up. This section includes the updated versions of the legal documents governing the UPC. New introductions in this section will be classified by a "NEW" reference.