Start Date for the Unitary Patent Court

According to a number of informed sources, it is likely that the new Unified Patent Court Agreement will be ratified by Germany in the next month and the Court will start operating on 1 April 2023. This is not confirmed and we shall keep you up to date.

The preparations for the Unified Patent Court (UPC) are well underway and its website lists a number of job vacancies. Many of the judges (both technical and legal) have already been appointed and the infrastructure for the Case Management System is in place has been extensively tested.

Under the Agreement, the start of the UPC system will occur when thirteen Member States of the European Union, including France and Germany, have deposited their instrument of ratification or accession to the Agreement. This number has already been reached. However, Germany will set the ball rolling when it deposits its instrument of ratification and this will only happen when the Member States agree that the preparation for the start of the UPC.

The ratification by Germany will also set the so-called Sunrise Period during which patent holders can decide whether their current European Patents should be litigated under the new UPC system or whether national litigation courts will continue to be responsible for allegations of infringements of patents. The Sunrise Period will last at least three months. for patent holders to “opt out” of the UPC system.

Our intellectual property management systems are now in place for working with both the new Unitary Patent in Europe and the Unified Patent Court. Feel free to get in touch if you have any questions.

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