On 17 February 2023 Germany ratified the agreement for the Unified Patent Court (UPC). Germany's ratification was the last formality needed to establish a definite start date for the Unitary Patent and the UPC. The new court will open its doors and the new patent system will become a reality on 1 June 2023. The Sunrise period, the period during which you can indicate that you do not want an existing European patent to fall under the jurisdiction of the new court, will start on 1 March 2023.
So what is it all about again?
The Unitary Patent is a new patent which allows you to protect your innovation in a large part of the EU in one go. With this patent you geographically have greater protection for your innovation, while the costs are lower. The UPC is a new European patent court that will take decisions on disputes about the new Unitary Patents as well as about existing European patents for which an opt-out has not been exercised.
To opt-out or not to opt-out
If you hold one or more European patents the coming period will be dominated by the decision as to whether or not to opt-out. For each European patent you will need to determine whether or not you want the new court (UPC) to have jurisdiction over it.
If you are an EP&C client, we will be contacting you shortly to advise you on this decision. If you are not an EP&C client but would like advice on this decision, please feel free to contact us. We will be happy to help you.
Already more options available now
If you have a pending patent application or are considering applying for a patent you already have more options available to you now. You can already opt for a patent with unitary effect. Our patent attorneys will be happy to advise you as to whether this would be the best option for you or whether you would be better off opting for one of the traditional routes. There are advantages and disadvantages to each of these options. We will be happy to explain them to you.
make sure you are well-informed
If innovation and intellectual property play an important role in your business it is a good idea to get properly informed about the changes. By so doing you will be well-prepared when a patent application does come into the picture and you will be able to incorporate the most up-to-date information into your protection strategy. You can download our free White Paper on the Unitary Patent and the Unified Patent Court for all the details. Needless to say you can also contact us by phone or email.