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The Unified Patent Court and the Unitary Patent

Navigating the new EU patent system

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UPC IN PLACE BY DECEMBER 2017 AND OPT-OUT STARTING IN SEPTEMBER

19 January 2017

The UPC Preparatory Committee has announced its expectation that the UPC will be operational by December 2017 with a sunrise period for opting out patents from its jurisdiction from September 2017.  However, it does sound a note of caution, stating that the "timetable is conditional and provided with the clear disclaimer that there are a number of factors that will dictate whether it is achievable. The most important factors in meeting these dates is the necessary ratifications of the UPCA and accession to the Protocol on Provisional Application. If these are not achieved the time-plan will be disrupted".

Teresa May's rejection of the CJEU in her Brexit speech on 17 January 2016 that the UK will make the UK's participation in the UPC post-Brexit difficult. See the comments by Mark Shillito, our Head of Intellectual Property, in this article "Brexit means ditching the CJEU, May makes clear", published in the Law Society Gazette on the same day. 

The Unified Patent Court (UPC) and the Unitary Patent (UP)

Now the UK has announced it will ratify the UPC Agreement (despite Brexit plans), 2017 looks to be a likely start date for the UPC and unitary patent and patentees urgently need to develop a litigation and opt-out strategy.

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