When will the new system become operational?
According to the current roadmap of the UPC Preparatory Team, the Unified Patent Court should start its work on June 1, 2023.
With the deposit of the instrument of ratification by Austria as the thirteenth member on January 18, 2022, the UPC has already entered into force provisionally according to the “Protocol to the Agreement on a Unified Patent Court concerning Provisional Application” (PPA). Within the framework of this provisional applicability, preparations for the operation of the UPC are currently underway. In particular, the UPC Administrative Committee has already officially confirmed the locations of the Court of First Instance and adopted the Rules of Procedure and the Table of Costs, which entered into force on September 1, 2022. Judges’ disbursement and finalization of the IT infrastructure are also taking place within the framework of provisional applicability.
For the full entry into force of the UPC, the deposit of the (already signed) instrument of ratification by Germany is still missing. As a “gatekeeper”, Germany is to deposit its instrument as soon as the Unified Patent Court declares that the necessary preparations have been completed. The deposit of the instrument is scheduled to take place in mid-February 2023.
As soon as Germany has deposited the instrument of ratification, the UPC will enter into force according to Art. 89 EPCÜ on the first day of the fourth month after deposit. Thus, the 3-month sunrise period will most likely start on March 1, 2023 and the UPC can enter into force on June 1, 2023.
Within the sunrise period, an opt-out can already be declared ahead of time in order to keep patents out of the Unitary Patent System and to prevent a central attack on the patent directly after the UPC enters into force.
Preliminary application of UPC starts with 13th ratification (Austria)
Beginning until end 2022
Beginning of 2023
Deposit of German ratification document (expected mid of February 2023)
3 months, starting with the first of March 2023
1st of June 2023
UPC enters into force
First day of fourth month after deposit