On Friday, following the UK's triggering of Article 50 two days' prior, the UKIPO confirmed that the UK is "fully on track" to ratify the UPC Agreement and commence the provisional application period in line with the Preparatory Committee's timetable (i.e. for the Provisional Application Phase to start in May 2017 and for the UPC to go live in December 2017, see here). The UKIPO also confirmed that they expect the legislation on privileges and immunities to be ready to lay before Parliament after Easter. The UKIPO clarified that their assurances were being made in response to growing speculation on the UK's timetable for ratification.
In the same communication, the UKIPO confirmed that the Interim Team of the Preparatory Committee met on 29 March and that the team's five sub-groups have been making good progress on making the final practical arrangements before the court goes into operation. The UKIPO specifically highlighted progress on:
- readiness to proceed with the judicial recruitment process;
- discussions between the Finance and HR teams to assist with refining the provisional budget for the court; and discussions between the Registry and IT teams to ensure that the CMS and Registry procedures are compatible (with User Acceptance Testing of the CMS to begin shortly).