Unified Patent Court becoming a reality
The long-planned European Unified Patent Court and Unitary Patent are now almost certain to take effect at the end of 2017. The Preparatory Committee of the Court has announced its readiness to begin the official preparation period (known as the “provisional application”) at the end of May, to allow the Court to begin operating in December 2017.
This means that the “sunrise period”, which will allow patent holders to opt existing European patents out of the system before it begins, will begin in September 2017. A patent holder who prefers to avoid any possibility of a central validity attack via the UPC should ensure that their patents are opted out before the UPC begins operating.
Our most recent update providing information on the new Court and the pros and cons of opting out can be found here. If you would like our assistance in preparing your IP strategy for the new system, please contact your usual Greaves Brewster attorney, or Rhiannon Turner here.