Germany has on 17 February 2023 ratified the Agreement on a Unified Patent Court (UPC), confirming that the long-awaited unitary patent system will start on 1 June 2023.
The new system allows inventions to be protected by a single unitary patent in 17 EU countries. Currently, the countries participating in the unitary patent system include Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, the Netherlands, Portugal, Slovenia, and Sweden.
Sunrise period beginning on 1 March 2023, and UPC opt-outs
Before the UPC can start operating, there will be a ‘sunrise period’ beginning on 1 March 2023. During the sunrise period, European patent holders will have the possibility of filing an opt-out request for their existing European patents which have been validated in one or more of the UPC member states. Read more