During the first quarter of 2018 four countries (France, Luxembourg, Italy, UK) ratified the Protocol on Privileges and Immunities. This means that there is now a total of five ratifying countries.
The Protocol guarantees that the Unified Patent Court will benefit from privileges and immunities, necessary for the exercise of its functions. It provides notably for:
- the inviolability of the premises of the Court, as well as those of archives and documents (Articles 3 & 4)
- the immunity of the Court, its property, assets and funds (Article 5)
- the immunity of representatives of a state party (Article 6)
- the privileges and immunities of the judges, registar and staff (Articles 9 & 10)
These guaranties will apply uniformely to all participating member states .
However, according to article 18, the Protocol will come into effect “30 days after the date on which the last of the four state parties – France, Germany, Luxemburg and the United Kingdom – has deposited its instrument of ratification“. Germany’s ratification will thus trigger its entry into force -as well as the entry into force of the UPC.