The UK yesterday took the first substantive step since the announcement on 28 November that it intends to ratify the UPC agreement. It has signed the ‘Protocol on Privileges and Immunities of the Unified Patent Court' which is required to allow the UPC to operate in London where a part of the Central Division and a Local Division will be based. This has been confirmed by Nic Fearon-Low (Head of External Communications at the UK IPO) and should be recorded shortly on the Council of the EU’s website here.

Current expectations are that the UK will complete ratification by about April and the UPC will open for business in the autumn.