About the author:
Howard Read: Howard is a partner and patent attorney. Having worked in industry and the academic sector before joining the profession, Howard understands the challenges faced in these areas and appreciates the commercial realities of, and the value derivable from, intellectual property.
The Unitary Patent (UP) and the Unified Patent Court (UPC) are currently anticipated to be live from 01 April 2023, when the UPC Agreement (UPCA) is planned to enter into force.
The UPC Preparatory Team has shared the latest UP/UPC implementation roadmap:
- December 2022 for the currently planned deposit of the German instrument of ratification of the UPCA. Applicants may then file requests for UPs at the European Patent Office (EPO), in advance of the sunrise period;
- 01 January 2023 as the currently planned start of the 3 month sunrise period, during which European patents may be opted out of the UPC and during which suitably-qualified European Patent Attorneys may register as UPC representatives; and
- 01 April 2023 as the currently planned entry into force of the UPCA and opening of the UPC, upon which cases may be lodged before the UPC and when all judges will be appointed. UPs may be granted by the EPO.
The UPC Preparatory Team has highlighted that these dates, however, are subject to change. It is understood that these dates are particularly dependent upon delivery of a UPC case management system (CMS), which is currently in beta testing.
For more information on the UP and the UPC, see: Centralised European patent protection and enforcement is coming (almost certainly this time).