Unified Patent Court will start on 1 June 2023

Today it has been confirmed that Germany has deposited its instrument of ratification of the Agreement on a Unified Patent Court. This means the conditions required to put the Agreement into action have been met so the Unified Patent Court (UPC) will start on 1 June 2023. Unitary Patents will also be available from that date.

When the news was announced Dr. Marco Buschmann, Germany’s Federal Minister of Justice, said:

"As of today, innovation protection in Europe is being raised to a new level. From 1 June, unitary patent protection will be opened in Europe, whereby disputes will be settled in proceedings before the Unified Patent Court with direct effect for all participating Member States. In this way, innovative companies can effectively protect their inventions across borders in the common market. This strengthens the future viability and innovative strength in Germany and Europe."

Once the UPC comes into force on 1 June 2023, the Unified Patent Court will become the primary patent system for all the EU Member States involved (at launch these are Germany, France, Belgium, Bulgaria, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Austria, Portugal, Sweden and Slovenia, although other EU member states will be able to join in the future). The Sunrise Period will also start on 1 April 2023 enabling rights holders to opt their European patents and applications out of the UPC before it comes into force.

With the start date now confirmed, it is essential you make your final decisions regarding:

  1. What you will do with your existing European patents and national validations (will you opt in or opt out of the UPC)?
  2. How you will progress your new European patents and applications?

If you need help with either making these decisions or plotting your European patent strategy under the UPC, Potter Clarkson’s readymade UPC Ready audit will help. 

We can also offer you additional guidance in the areas you may not readily associate with Unitary Patents and the UPC. For example, will the licences and other commercial contracts underpinning your patents remain fit for purpose once the UPC comes into force? And have you decided how you will manage pan-European litigation under the UPC?

We are perfectly positioned to provide a comprehensive overview of the risks and opportunities posed by the Unified Patent Court’s launch on 1 June 2023.

We have a network of offices across the UK and key UPC states.

We are genuinely full service with both patent attorneys and patent litigators working in tandem.

For our experienced litigators, developing strategies for obtaining the best possible outcomes is already second nature.

If you would like to discuss how we can help you get UPC-ready, please contact us today.