December 5, 2022Client Alert

European Unified Patent Court Delays Start of UPC System

The Unified Patent Court (“UPC”) in Europe has announced a two-month delay to the start of the Sunrise Period for the upcoming UPC System. As it stands now, the Sunrise Period will begin March 1, 2023, with the system going into full effect June 1, 2023. The delay has been implemented primarily to allow users more time to prepare for the UPC’s Case Management System and its strong authentication protocols. All other preparatory work for the UPC System is on track, according to the UPC.

The delay of the UPC system certainly provides more time to make decisions about whether to opt out from jurisdiction of the UPC for all or part of your European patent portfolio, but it may also impact strategies for your pending European patent applications if the effect of a Unitary Patent may be desired.  As we have previously stated, whether to opt out of the UPC is not a one-size-fits-all decision. Strategic decisions about each patent or patent family in your portfolio will help you balance how the UPC may impact the goals you have for your European patent portfolio and the costs to request the opt-out(s).

Opt-outs from the UPC will be available starting March 1, 2023, and may be available after June 1, 2023, if a third party has not curtailed the opportunity.  It remains important to determine whether an opt out makes sense for some or all of your European patent portfolio based on your European patent goals and strategies. We can assist you in weighing these decisions.

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