The three-month Sunrise Period for the Unified Patent Court (UPC) began on March 1st 2023 and is currently in progress until May 31st with the UPC coming into effect on 1 June.
Once the UPC comes into force, it will preside over infringement and revocation actions for all patents already granted by the EPO. Unless, of course, you have opted your patents out of the UPC.
While the Sunrise Period will run for three months, the UPC itself has urged European patent owners to act immediately and not leave their opt-out requests to the end of the Sunrise Period. The need to do so is even more acute if you have an extensive patent portfolio that would require a large number of opt-outs.
This means this is a hugely important time for all owners of existing European Patents.
The Sunrise Period presents patent owners with an opportunity to stop competitors from centrally revoking their patents at the UPC in a single action.
WHAT DO YOU NEED TO DO DURING THE UPC SUNRISE PERIOD?
If you have not done so already, you need to make a final decision as to whether to opt your patents out of the UPC or allow them to automatically transition into the UPC. If you are uncertain as to what the best course of action for you is, we can talk everything through with you.
This is a conversation we should have as soon as possible.
The UPC is expecting a high volume of applications during the Sunrise Period (there are approximately 3.6m European patent applications and around 1.9m granted patents to potentially opt-out). Even though the current functionality of the official online system is limited to progressing opt-out applications, congestion is expected.
This could potentially delay your application and result in your application/s not being concluded by 31 May.
If you do decide to opt-out, we will make the process as easy as possible for you.
You need to submit your opt-out applications via the UPC’s new case management system. However, Potter Clarkson have built our own links to the system so that we can submit applications on our clients’ behalf quickly, easily and reliably.
We also wanted to highlight that we can help you with more than managing the opt-out process.
To help you decide on your opt-out strategy, you can monitor what your competitors are doing here. This insight will not only help you finalise your decision to opt out of, or remain within the UPC, it will also help you to shape your future litigation strategy.
We appreciate this is a commercially sensitive time. We want to assure you we are here to help you through this hugely important period of change.
If you would like to discuss how we can help you get UPC Ready or ask any question about the UPC Sunrise Period or any other aspect of the Unitary Patent or Unified Patent Court, please contact us today.