The Unified Patent Court is edging ever-closer to reality. Recently both Bulgaria and Italy have taken steps towards ratifying the relevant treaty, and the case management IT system is undergoing trials. A prerequisite of a functioning court is, of course, the presence of suitably-qualified judges. Applications are now open, with a very short deadline of 4 July 2016. At present it seems that the UPC is likely to open its doors in early 2017. Now is therefore the ideal time to begin thinking about how your business and its IP strategy might be affected. For high-quality, commercially-aware advice, contact any of the team here at Dehns.