According to the implementation roadmap announced by UPC Preparatory team on October 6th 2022, the German ratification of the UPC Agreement is expected to take place on 19-23 December 2022. Thus, the entry into force of the new system, including the European Patent with unitary effect (the “Unitary Patent), and the Unified Patent Court (UPC), is currently planned for April 1st 2023.
Following this timeline, the start of the sunrise period is expected to be January 1st, 2023. During the sunrise period, patent owners of European patents will have the possibility to file requests for excluding the competence of the new Court for these patents before the entry into force of the new system.
Additionally, as of the German ratification it will be possible for applicants of European patent applications ready for grant to make use of the transitional measures of the European Patent Office to ensure the possibility of opting for the unitary patent. These transitional measures include the early request for unitary effect and/or the request for postponement of the grant.
At ZBM we are well aware of the challenge that the new system poses for everyone, especially for patent applicants and owners. Within this frame, Carolina Janer and Carlos Maíllo have received this year the Diploma on Patent litigation in Europe from the Politecnico di Milano.
This brings up to 8 the number of European Patent Attorneys at ZBM who have this specialised qualification, which will allow them to represent clients before the UPC.
We are ready to offer advice and discuss with our clients the advantages and disadvantages of the new system, to devise strategies to ensure that pending European patent applications can be validated as unitary patents, and to give assistance on the decision of opting out their patents from the UPC system and, if desired, the filing of opt-out requests.
For more information do not hesitate to contact us.