Unified Patent Court timeline
Unified Patent Court timeline

The following IP guidance note provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • Unified Patent Court timeline
  • Unified Patent Court development timeline
  • Unified Patent Court legal framework

This timeline is intended to track the progress towards the implementation of the Unified Patent Court (UPC).


In December 2012, an agreement was reached on the so-called 'patent package', a legislative initiative consisting of two regulations (Regulation (EU) 1257/2012 implementing enhanced co-operation in the area of the creation of unitary patent (UP) protection and Regulation (EU) 1260/2012, the so-called Language Regulation—the 'Unitary Patent Regulations') and the Unified Patent Court Agreement (UPCA), laying the ground for the creation of UP protection in the EU.

For more details on the key developments in the UPC legal regime see: Unified Patent Court legal framework below.

When will the unitary patent and the Unified Patent Court come into effect?

The UPCA will enter into force on the first day of the fourth month after the deposit of ratification to the UPCA by 13 states, including Germany, France and the UK.

On 26 April 2018, the UK became the 16th country to ratify the UPCA. As the UK, France and 14 other countries have ratified the UPCA, only Germany’s ratification is now required.

However, Germany’s ratification is currently on hold due to the constitutional complaint pending in the BVerfG (German Federal Constitutional Court). The complaint in the BVerfG is included in this year’s list of cases. If the BVerfG dismisses the complaint by the summer, it is likely that the UPCA’s