Italy ratifies the UPC agreement
Italy has become the 12th member state to ratify the UPC agreement

On 10th February 2017 Italy completed the final formal step in ratification of the Agreement on a Unified Patent Court (UPC) when its instrument of ratification was deposited with the European Council.

To date, 12 member states have ratified, namely Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Denmark, France, Italy, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Portugal, Sweden, and Finland. The UPC will come into effect when there have been 13 ratifications, but those must include France, the UK and Germany.

France has ratified, and it is anticipated that the UK will formally ratify sometime in March ahead of the triggering of Article 50.  If this happens, it will only remain for Germany to ratify to trigger the start of the UPC. The anticipated date for the opening of the Court is currently December 2017 or early in 2018.