A new Court for patents in Europe

The UP/UPC system is expected to enter into force before the end of 2022

A milestone for the entry into force of the UP/UPC system has been reached, since the required 13 Member States have now ratified the Protocol to the Agreement on a Unified Patent Court on provisional application.  The UPC’s provisional application phase (PAP) has therefore begun. The provisional application phase is the final phase of the Unified Patent Court’s set-up. During this phase the last parts of the preparatory works can be completed, budget and IT systems will be finalised and judges will be recruited. The provisional application phase is expected to last approximately eight months. When the preparatory work has progressed satisfactorily, the last step will be the ratification of the Unified Patent Court Agreement (UPCA) by Germany. The UPCA will then enter into force on the first day of the fourth month following the deposit of this instrument. The UP/UPC system could therefore enter into force even before the end of this year.

The EPO will introduce transitional measures to help patentees who wish to take advantage of the new UP/UPC system. The new measures will allow early request for unitary effect and/or that  grant of patent applications to be delayed until after the UP/UPC-system has entered into force, so that they can fall within the new regime.  Such early requests for unitary effect or delay of grant will be allowed to be filed as of the date of deposit of the Federal Republic of Germany’s instrument of ratification of the UPCA.

Inspicos Clients will obtain advice on a case by case basis on how to best to prepare for the new possibilities for patent protection in Europe.