What is the “Protocol to the Agreement on a Unified Patent Court on provisional application”?
On 1st October 2015, the member states representatives signed the “Protocol to the Agreement on a Unified Patent Court on provisional application”.
This protocol allows some parts of the UPCA to be applied before the UPC enters into force. It concerns “article 1-2, 4-5, 6(1), 7, 10-19, 35 (1, 3 and 4), 36-41 and 71(3) of the Agreement on a Unified Patent Court and Article 1-7(1), 7(5), 9-18, 20(1), 22-28, 30, 32 and 33 of the Statute of the Unified Patent Court“. The Protocol will allow “final decisions on the practical set up of the Court” to enter into application, such as the “recruitment of judges and testing of IT systems“, or the early registration of opt-out demands.
When will it enter into force?
According to Article 3 the Protocol will only enter into force after 13 states, that have already signed and ratified the UPCA, approve the Protocol. The member states can do so either by signing ratifying or approving it.
On 21st March 2017, the UK, Sweden, France, Germany, Luxembourg, Denmark, Slovenia, Hungary, Italy and Romania had signed the protocol. Out of these 10 countries only France, Sweden, Denmark, Luxembourg and Italy have ratified the UPCA. This means that 8 further ratifying countries will need to approve the Protocol before it can enter into force.
You can view the protocol below:
You can view the signing ceremony here