The UPCA: are we nearly there yet?

October 12, 2022

After years of preparation, we now have a provisional date of entry into force for the Agreement on a Unified Patent Court (UPCA): 1 April 2023.

The Unified Patent Court (UPC) preparatory team has published an implementation roadmap for the final activities required before the agreement can come into force. Importantly, this roadmap gives us two long-awaited dates.

The first date is the start date of the sunrise period: 1 January 2023. During the sunrise period, it will be possible to pre-emptively opt-out applications and patents from the exclusive jurisdiction of the new court, and take some steps towards requesting a Unitary Patent (UP).

The second date is the date of entry into force of the UPCA: 1 April 2023. On this date, the court will open, and it will be possible to take action (or have action brought against you) in the UPC.

These dates are still provisional dates only, but it’s worth starting to consider these key questions:

  • Do you want to participate in the UPC or opt-out of the court’s exclusive jurisdiction?
  • Do you want to request a Unitary Patent or validate your European patent in individual countries?

We can help you make these decisions, considering your patents and applications, as well as your wider business strategy. We will be in contact with our clients in due course to discuss these decisions and to help with any opt-outs.

If you’d like to know more about Unitary Patents and the Unified Patent Court, take a look at our introductory article or get in touch with Elizabeth O’Leary at [email protected].

You can find the implementation roadmap published by the UPC preparatory team here.