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UPC Preparatory Committee's October optimistic for the UPC becoming a reality in 2022

The report of the October 2021 meeting of UPC Preparatory Committee provides some further support for the slow, but increasingly sure progress regarding the steps required for the Unified Patent Court to become a reality.  First, the report confirms that the Protocol on Privileges and Immunities entered into force on 27 October 2021. This is a rather technical development but it is a forerunner for the entry into force of the Protocol on Provisional Application, which requires just one more participating country to deposit its instrument of ratification in order to come into force.  That will then allow the final preparations for the United Patent Court to be completed. 

The Committee expects the Protocol on Provisional Application may enter into force in late 2021 or early 2022.  If so, the UPC itself could be up and running by the end of 2022.  Don't hold your breath but what has been a very long wait could fairly soon be over.

The Chairman took the occasion to highlight that the Protocol on Privileges and Immunities has entered into force as of the day of the meeting, 27 October 2021. The Chairman presented a draft Declaration on the authentic interpretation of Art. 3 of the PAP-Protocol, following the United Kingdom’s withdrawal from the Unitary Patent System. In line with public international law, this Declaration will confirm the entry into force of the PAP-Protocol, once the required 13 Member States become bound by said Protocol, recognizing that Art. 3 of the PAP-Protocol is to be interpreted as mirroring Art. 89 of the UPCA. The delegations supported the approach proposed by the Chairman, hence giving him the mandate to organize a signing ceremony of the Declaration, foreseen in the margins of a future COREPER meeting.


litigation & disputes, patents, upc