According to the website of the Council of the European Union, Lithuania has completed its ratification formalities on 24 August 2017. This is the 14th ratification following that of Estonia which joined the unitary patent system on 1 August 2017.
To be complete, the unitary patent system requires 13 ratifications, including France, Germany and the United Kingdom. France is already part of the system since 14 March 2014. However, according to the Preparatory Committee, the United Kingdom and Germany still have some hurdles to overcome before the unitary patent system enters into force (you can see our previous posts on the situation in the UK and Germany)
Still, the Preparatory Committee is confident that the UPC will come into force around January 2018.
An action according to Article 32(1) of the UPC Agreement is introduced when the plaintiff lodges a corresponding Statement or Application at the UPC Registry (Rule 4 RoP). Then, Chapter 2 of Part 5 of the Rules of Procedure (RoP) provides for a number of provisions related to the service by the Registry of all documents related to this action (Rule 6 RoP). This Chapter 2 (Rules 270-279 RoP) is subdivided in four sections.
The German Constitutional Court (Bundesverfassungsgericht) has delayed the ratification of the Unified Patent Court (UPC) Agreement (http://www.lto.de/recht/nachrichten/n/bverfg-stoppt-eu-einheits-patent-verfassungsbeschwerde/) as became known today.
The Constitutional Court has asked the Federal President of Germany to put the process of ratification on hold following a constitutional complaint filed by a private person. The Office of the Federal President informed the court that the process was “suspended” following the request. The constitutional complaint relates to the law ruling the Unified Patent Court, but as the two are closely related, the entry into force of the Unitary Patent has also been put on hold.
At this point, Germany and the UK have not yet ratified the UPC Agreement, which requires 13 signatories including those two countries plus France before the UPC can be launched.
Now, concerns have been raised that Germany will not be able to ratify the protocol on the provisional application for quite some time.
Those events will probably have a significant impact on the entry into operation of the entire UPC package.