Following a number of challenges in Germany to the country’s involvement in the Unified Patent Court (UPC), and the final dismissal of these challenges in July 2021 by the German Federal Constitutional Court, Germany’s Federal President has signed the ratification bill that allows Germany to now participate in the UPC.

A number of further steps are needed before full entry into force of the Unified Patent Court Agreement (UPCA), including Germany’s ratification of a key Protocol for the UPCA and Germany’s final deposition of an instrument of ratification of the UPCA itself. These steps allow for final preparations, such as the appointment of judges for the UPC and the finalising of budgets and IT systems, to be made for the UPC to become operational.

These steps are expected to be completed over the next few months, following which there will be a three month period before the UCPA comes into force and operation of the UPC commences. The UPC itself estimates this will enable the UPC to start operating in mid-2022.