Unitary patent (UP) and Unified Patent Court (UPC) will go live on 1 June 2023
Germany has deposited its instrument of ratification and, as such, the Unitary patent and Unified Patent Court will go live on 1 June 2023, with the sunrise period starting on 1 March 2023.
The long awaited, and much vaunted, UP and UPC will finally be coming into effect after a short delay, as computer system/authentication issues have been addressed and this allowed Germany, as the final necessary state, to deposit its formal instrument of ratification on 17 February 2023.
The sunrise period allows various steps, such as opting out, to be taken ahead the formal start of the UPC on 1 June, at which time any EP patents that are validated in any of the 17 states that are part of the UP/UPC system become subject to the jurisdiction of the UPC as well as of national courts and, crucially, to central attack at the UPC. Conversely, it also allows proprietors to enforce their EP patents across the 17 states in a single action.
For EP patents granted on or after 1 June, it will be possible to request unitary effect, to obtain a unitary patent in the 17 states, with conventional European validation in the non-UP/UPC states. It is already possible to delay grant where an EP application has been found allowable, to make use of the UP system.
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