Legal Alert: Unitary Patent and UPC Now Projected to Start in Early 2023


In a report of its 8 July meeting, the UPC Administrative Committee said "the timing of the start of operations of the Court can reasonably be expected to occur in early 2023." We understand that the current target date for the start of the UPC and first grants by the EPO of Unitary Patents is 1 March 2023. If that is the case, the sunrise periods, during which early requests for opt-out may be filed in the UPC and transitional steps may be made toward obtaining a Unitary Patent grant from the EPO, will begin near 1 December 2022.

The Committee has adopted Rules of Procedure, in two Annexes to an 8 July decision. For the most part, the rules are the same as the draft rules approved by the Preparatory Committee on 15 March 2017 (Annex II), with mostly minor, clarifying amendments accompanied by explanations (Annex I). A consolidated set of Rules will be published before they take effect on 1 September 2022. The Committee also adopted the Table of Fees, a decision for the set-up of local and regional divisions, and several other documents, which are published with the Rules here.

On 14 July, Managing IP published an article by Fish attorneys John Pegram and Jan Zecher entitled “Will a UPC Opt-out Survive the Transitional Period?” They conclude that the question will most likely be litigated after the UPC transitional period. A PDF copy of the article is here.

For more details regarding the Unitary Patent and UPC, see our webpages here.