The reality of the Unified Patent Court moved a little nearer in August when Portugal became the eighth member state to ratify the UPC Agreement. The reality will be complete when a further five states have ratified it. Thirteen states, including UK and Germany, must ratify if for the agreement to be implemented. The states which have now ratified it are: Austria, Belgium, Denmark, France, Luxembourg, Malta, Portugal and Sweden. 

Whereas it is understood that Spain is opposed to the agreement, the UK government has stated that it intends to ratify the agreement by early 2016.

The three divisions of the UPC will be based in the UK, France and Germany. The UPC’s appeals court will be based in Luxembourg. In anticipation of its heavy involvement, the UK Government has entered into a lease for Aldgate Tower in Aldgate, London to house the UK’s local and central divisions of the court.  The UK division of the UPC will hear disputes relating to chemistry, pharmaceuticals and life sciences.