In June we reported the latest developments relating to the Unitary European Patents:

https://maclachlan.ie/getting-ready-for-a-new-european-patent-system-the-unitary-european-patent-and-unified-patent-court-upc/

Italy has recently become the 26th Country to join but so far only 8 countries have ratified. The magic number is 13. The end of 2016 is now the expected start date.

Ireland cannot ratify the Unitary Patent and UPC agreements until a referendum has been passed by the Irish people to permit an amendent to the Constitution of Ireland which allows the ratification. Such a referendum is unlikely to be held until after the General Election which may not be until the end of March 2016.