Germany has finally taken steps to initiate the ratification process. Yesterday the Federal Ministry of Justice of Germany (Bundesjustizministerium) published two draft bills: the first was a draft bill on the ratification of the Unified Patent Court Agreement, and the second contained changes to German patent law which would accommodate the Unitary Patent. 

These two draft bills will now be considered and consulted on before a final version is presented to German Parliament. It is anticipated that final versions of the draft bills will be presented to Parliament before summer 2016. 

The ratification of Germany, France and the United Kingdom is required, along with ten other participating Member States, before the Unitary Patent and the Unified Patent Court can come into effect. The United Kingdom has already started the ratification process and France has already ratified. Other Member States who have ratified include Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Luxembourg, Malta, Portugal, Sweden and most recently, Finland on 19 January 2016.