No more fooling around: April 1st is UPC launch date.

The Unified Patent Court and Unitary Patent have been talked about in various forms for decades. Many wondered if they would ever come to fruition. Now, we appear to have a firm date for the launch of the new court and the grant of Unitary Patents.

According to a timeline published by the Court, the go-live date for the system will be April 1, 2023. As discussed in more detail here, the go-live date will be preceded by a sunrise period of three months during which users can opt their existing European patents out of the UPC court’s jurisdiction and can delay grant of European Patents should they wish to avail of the Unitary Patent with effect in 17 member states.

The latest timeline is as follows:

  • 19-23 December 2022: Germany to deposit instrument of ratification, triggering final stages of implementation
  • 1 January 2023: Start of Sunrise Period for opting-out
  • 1 April 2023: UPC Agreement enters into force

It is now critical for patent applicants and patent owners to decide on whether they wish for their patents to be subject to the jurisdiction of the new court, or whether they would like to opt out, in the knowledge that one can opt back in at any stage.

It is expected that many, if not most, patentees will wish to opt out the large majority of their granted and pending EP portfolios. This is not a trivial task for a large portfolio, and FRKelly have developed a software tool allowing us to efficiently opt a client’s portfolio out in a reliable, audited procedure at short notice. If you would like further information on this bulk opt-out tool, please contact David Brophy.

This article continues FRKelly's series on the upcoming Unitary Patent and Unified Patent Court. For more details, check out the following articles:  

1. What is a Unitary Patent?

2. What is the Unified Patent Court?  

3. How to Apply for a Unitary Patent

4. UPC Structure

5. Register for Unitary Patent Protection

6. UPC Operations

7. What Rights Are Afforded by a Unitary Patent? 

8. UPC Opt-Out

9. Opposition, Appeals and Validity of Unitary Patents

10. Will the Unified Patent Court Affect SPCs?

11. Unitary Patent Costs

12. UPC Infringement Actions

13. Ireland and the Unified Patent Court


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