The Unified Patent Court (UPC) authorities have announced that the date of full entry into force of the UPC is to be delayed by two months to 1 June 2023. This will also delay the effective start date of the Sunrise Period to 1 March 2023. The UPC authorities have stated that the delay is to allow more time for future users to gain full access to the UPC case management system, through which documents are exchanged between all parties and the UPC.
While the UPC was beginning to feel like it was just around the corner, this delay will provide a little more time for owners of European patents and European patent applications to get their affairs in order before the start of the Sunrise Period and full entry into force. We would expect the EPO to now also delay the start of the Unitary Patent (UP) transitional provisions to align with the updated start date of the Sunrise Period, although, at the time of publication, this is yet to be confirmed.
Even with a delay officially confirmed, it is still important that owners of European patents and European patent applications continue their decision-making on whether to opt out any of their European patents and patent applications. Fortunately for many, the delay gives a little more time for a decision to be reached and to work through any matters that arise from this.
If you have any questions on the matters addressed in this article, or on any other UPC and UP matters, please email us at email@example.com or contact your usual GJE attorney.