Austria was the first Member State to ratify the UPC Agreement and yesterday the loop was closed when it deposited its instrument of ratification of the Protocol on Provisional Application of the UPC Agreement. As such, Austria is now the thirteenth Member State to participate in the provisional application of the UPC Agreement.
The Austrian ratification triggers the entry force clause of the Protocol and today the General Secretariat of the Council of the European Union, in its role as Depository, has declared that this Protocol has entered into force (https://www.consilium.europa.eu/de/documents-publications/treaties-agreements/agreement/?id=2015056).
This event marks the start of the Provisional Application Period (PAP) and the birth of the Unified Patent Court as an international organisation. During the PAP, the last part of the preparatory work in establishing the Court will be conducted. The practical work will start with the inaugural meetings of the governing bodies of the Court, namely the Administrative Committee, the Advisory Committee and the Budget Committee. Thereafter the crucial work of finalising the recruitment of the judges of the Court will be carried out. It is deemed that the PAP will last at least eight months. When the State Parties are confident that the Court is functional, Germany will deposit its instrument of ratification of the UPC Agreement, which will trigger the countdown until this Agreement’s entry into force and set the date for the start of the UPC’s operations.