It's full steam ahead for the UPC. After a long, winding journey, the Preparatory Committee has revealed that it expects to finalise the Court's Rules of Procedure in October 2015. The Committee noted at its July meeting that the current draft rules were "very well received by the Committee" even if there are "one or two items still to settle".
Meanwhile, Italy has notified the EU of its intention to participate in the unitary patent regime (having initially signed up to the unified litigation system only). There is also talk of Milan becoming the home of Italy's local division of the UPC.
Next stop, the appointment of the UPC judges? Whilst the Preparatory Committee discussed the judges' salaries in July, there is still no news on the total number of UPC judges that are expected to decide issues of patent law for most of the EU. Nor do we know of any target date by which the selection, training or appointment of the judges should be complete. With this bridge still to cross, the final station along this 40 year-long route, is unlikely to come into view until the end of 2017. Yet savvy passengers are preparing to board the UPC Express now, conscious that the key question is no longer 'whether' but 'when' the UPC will come into effect.