The opening of the Unified Patent Court (UPC) would follow a three-month sunrise period (expected to begin in September 2017) in which patentees have the opportunity to opt out existing patents from the new system.
In a recent webinar, we predicted entry into force of the UPC agreement later this year, and based on today’s announcement it seems that this prediction is likely to become a reality. The UPC Preparatory Committee is working towards the provisional application phase beginning at the end of spring 2017, which would allow for a 2017 start date. Factors such as delayed ratification of the UPC agreement by the UK or Germany could shift this timeline back, but all of the signs are currently pointing to the UPC opening very soon. Patentees should begin considering their opt-out strategy now, so that they are ready to implement this strategy once the brief sunrise period begins.
For more information about the UP and UPC, please visit the resources section of our website.
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