The UK will host its branch in Aldgate Tower, on the edge of the City. It will be the first arm of the Court of Justice of the EU to be based on UK soil.

The courts will have to abide by EU law and will be answerable to the Court of Justice of the European Union. Despite this, the UK Intellectual Property Office has stressed that the UPC is ‘not an EU institution’.

The court will host the ‘human necessities’ division, which will include disputes related to pharmaceuticals and medical devices, but the UK will also be responsible for managing the IT of the entire UPC system.

The Committee in charge of the project also said today that after the UK ratifies the agreement, expected in the spring, a ‘provisional application phase’ will begin in May 2017.

This will allow various parts of the UPC agreement to come into force early and for the recruitment of judges.

Meanwhile, in its 'Brexit and the Law' submission made to the Department for Exiting the EU, the Law Society said today that it wanted to ensure that the UK ‘remains a centre of excellence for patent law’: ‘Notwithstanding the UK’s exit from EU membership, it should negotiate to ensure that the UK can continue to participate in the Unified Patent Court Agreement and retain the court in London’.

Before the system can come into force, 13 countries will have to ratify the agreement. Of those 13, France, Germany and the UK are mandatory. France has also ratified the agreement and Germany is expected to ratify it shortly after the UK.