A few days ago the British government made clear that the UK will not participate in the Unified Patent Court system (https://www.iam-media.com/law-policy/uk-no-upc).

One may speculate whether the British government intended the timing of the announcement of this decision to be a pinprick in connection with the negotiations on the Brexit Agreement with the European Union, since the consequence of this decision is in any case that the remaining member states of the European Union must now agree on where the seat of a branch of the Central Chamber of the Unified Patent Court, originally intended for London under the UPC Agreement, is to be moved.

Although The Hague and Milan were already discussed as possible locations replacing London, this in turn will mean with some degree of certainty that 1 January 2021 cannot be kept as the starting date of the UPC system, as any change to the UPC Agreement will again have to be approved by the parliaments of the remaining European Union member states. And it is furthermore likely that in this context requests for additional changes will be put forward by some member states.

Summarizing, I expect a considerable delay to the start of the UPC system, even if the German Federal Constitutional Court would reject the constitutional complaint and give green light to the ratification of the UPC Agreement by the Germany government.