On Friday, the German government ratified the Unified Patent Court Agreement (UPCA), setting in motion significant changes to the patent system in Europe.
Firstly, it will now be possible to obtain a Unitary Patent for any European patent application having a Rule 71(3) EPC communication (notice of allowance) response deadline set on or after 1st January 2023.
Secondly, the “sunrise period” for the Unified Patent Court (UPC) will start on 1st March 2023, at which point the UPC will begin accepting registrations to have existing European Patents opted-out of the jurisdiction of the new Unified Patent Court. Once the UPCA comes into force on 1st June 2023, the opt-outs will immediately take effect, thereby shielding existing European patents from the jurisdiction of the new Court.
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