According to the UPC Preparatory Committee's website, signatures from two Contracting Member States are still missing on the “Protocol on Provisional Application” before the UPC can start. The Preparatory Committee will subsequently publish a timeline. However, the chair of the UPC Preparatory Committee has said to Juve Patent that he expects the UPC to become operational at the end of 2022 or in early 2023.
Before this happens, it must be decided where to place the division of the court that was to have been located in London. This division will hear cases about chemistry, comprising the very central field of medicinal product patents.
Several countries want to house this division, and it is not clear at this point whether the division will be in Milan (home to the third highest number of patent applications (after the UK leaving the UPC) when the agreement was made), whether to distribute the cases between France and Germany already housing the two other seats of the central division of the court, or whether to place it in a third Contracting Member State.