UPC set to start on 1 April

The Unified Patent Court (UPC) has announced that they plan to open the doors to the Court on the 1 April 2023. We therefore advise all patent proprietors who have not yet done so, to review your patent portfolios and decide on your strategy with regard to the new Unitary Patent System. The first decision you need to take is whether to opt-out from the UPC or not. Our patent attorneys are, of course, available for any questions or advice you may need – or for the lodging of opt-out requests.

As of its starting date, the Court will handle patent disputes and the Court’s decisions will have unitary effect in all participating UPC member states. As we have reported on previously, the UPC will, apart from disputes regarding Unitary Patents (UPs), also have jurisdiction over granted and nationally validated European patent (EP) applications in the participating UPC member states – as long as no opt-out from the UPC has been filed.

When the UPC has started, it will also be possible to register patents granted by the European Patent Office (EPO) as Unitary Patents (UPs). A Unitary Patent (UP) is a patent with unitary effect in all of the participating UPC member states. Currently, this includes 17 EU countries, Sweden being one of them.

The UPC also announced that the sunrise period that precedes the opening of the Court is expected to start on the 1 January 2023. During the sunrise period, it will be possible to file opt-outs from the UPC for nationally validated European patents (EPs), which will ensure that the patents remain solely under the jurisdiction of the national courts in the same way as it works today. By filing opt-outs from the UPC, a patent proprietor can thus avoid a central revocation action, but simultaneously resigns their ability to, through a single infringement action, stop infringement in all the participating UPC member states in one go.

Since the preliminary starting date has been announced by the UPC, we advise all patent proprietors to review their patent portfolios as soon as possible to decide on your strategy with regard to opting out from the UPC or not. Our patent attorneys are, of course, available should you have any questions about the UP, the UPC, or the filing of opt-outs.

Please note that the above-mentioned dates are preliminary and therefore might be subject to change.

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