The UPC has faced continuous obstacles delaying its implementation. As matters stand, 15 contracting Member States have already ratified, including France and Italy. Once German ratification is complete it is anticipated that the final steps could be taken to set up the UPC in 2021 (with work likely starting in 2022), but more delays are now expected. In late December 2020, the German Parliament passed the ratification bill for the UPC Agreement but that was swiftly followed by the filing of two constitutional complaints with Federal Constitutional Court which delays the German process again.
Once up and running the UPC will replace all individual enforcement courts in different EU member states, enabling inventors and patent owners to enforce their patents across Europe. There will no longer be a requirement for multi-jurisdictional patent disputes, which has forced patent owners to litigate costly and complex issues throughout several European jurisdictions simultaneously.