Portugal becomes 8th contracting state to formally ratify the Unified Patent Court Agreement – only 5 more ratifications to go before the new patent system comes into effect (although this must include the UK and Germany)

On 28 August 2015, Portugal lodged its instrument of ratification of the Unified Patent Court Agreement (UPCA), making it the eighth contracting state to do so (joining Austria, Belgium, Denmark, France, Luxembourg, Malta and Sweden - see details here). 13 of the 25 contracting states are required to ratify before the UPCA and thus the new Unified Patent Court system and unitary patent can come into effect, but these must include France (already ratified), the UK and Germany.

In October the Preparatory Committee will meet to finalise and agree the 18th draft of the UPC Rules and the agreed Protocol on Provisional Application of parts of the UPCA will open for signature. The latter should enable parts of the system to be formally established in early 2016, although the realistic start date for the new court is still more likely to be 2017.