Recent comments from the UPC Preparatory Committee make it look increasingly likely that the UPC will open its doors for business during 2022. The Committee announced that only one more country now needs to ratify the Protocol on Provisional Application of the UPC Agreement and that this is likely to happen before the end of this year. The announcement stated that, as a result, the start of the Provisional Application Period during which all the practical arrangements are made for the start of the court is “currently expected for late 2021 or early 2022.”
If the Provisional Application Period were to commence during November, the UPC could open its doors as early as July 2022 (previously the UPC Preparatory Committee has estimated that it will last around 8 months). If the Provisional Application Period does not commence until Q1 2022 then the UPC is more likely to start operating late summer or early autumn of 2022 (though it could be earlier if it turns out that the necessary preparations take less time than the UPC Preparatory Committee envisages).
The UPC Preparatory Committee stated that “The Chairman emphasised that 12 Member States now have adhered to the [Provisional Application Protocol] and that only one more is needed to meet the requirements of the entry into force. From the discussions it can be concluded that it is likely that the requirements will be met by the end of the year.”
The Chairman of the Preparatory Committee was given a mandate to organise a signing ceremony of the Declaration relating to the start of the Provisional Application Period, so it looks unlikely that there will be much further delay in the process.
Our fully integrated, market leading European patent litigation team is ready to advise on all aspects of the practical and strategic issues which you should be considering in preparation for the UPC – please contact us for further information.