Europe’s Unitary Patent Has Arrived!

February 17, 2023
By Denis V. Keseris

Today, the German government ratified the Unified Patent Court Agreement (UPCA), setting in motion significant changes to the patent system in Europe. The following important components of the system have now been triggered through this ratification.

Firstly, it will now be possible to obtain a Unitary Patent for any European patent application having a Rule 71(3) EPC communication (notice of allowance) response deadline set on or after January 1, 2023.

Secondly, the “sunrise period” for the Unified Patent Court (UPC) will begin on March 1, 2023, at which point the UPC will begin accepting registrations to have existing European Patents (EPs) opted-out of the jurisdiction of the new Unified Patent Court. Once the UPCA comes into force on June 1, 2023, the opt-outs will immediately take effect, thereby shielding existing EPs from the jurisdiction of the new Court.

If you wish to obtain a Unitary Patent for your pending European patent application(s) or wish to have existing EPs opted-out of the jurisdictions of the new Court, please immediately get in touch with your B&P advisor.

For more information about any of the above, please see our in-depth article or watch our webinar in which we discussed strategies for taking advantage of (or avoiding) this new system.

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