UPC preparations now begin in earnest. On 19 January 2022, the protocol on the UPC provisional application phase (“PAP”) came into force. The agreement regarding the Unified Patent Court or the UPC is now expected to enter into force at some point around 1 January 2023 (between the end of 2022 and the beginning of 2023). Following many obstacles to the Unified Patent Court, the last practical preparations are now starting.

The UPC will entail great changes for patent proprietors and tech-heavy companies. The UPC Agreement entails that in the future a large number of patent cases will commence in UPC divisions instead of in the ordinary national courts. A European unitary patent will be implemented along with the patent court agreement; meaning a patent with unitary effect in the entire EU with the exception of Spain, Poland, the Czech Republic, Hungary and Croatia. Great Britain is not comprised by the UPC or the unitary patent either.

According to the plan, the UPC was supposed to start in 2017; however, the project has been delayed due to two proceedings before the German constitutional court questioning the UPC’s compatibility with the German constitution. On 20 March 2020, the German constitutional court found the German implementation of the UPC unconstitutional (passed without the necessary majority); however, the dispute was remedied, and on 9 July 2021 the constitutional court rejected two requests for a preliminary injunction against the German laws ratifying the UPC Agreement. 

Great Britain originally stated that the country wanted to participate in the UPC despite Brexit. However, in early 2020 Great Britain announced that the country would not join the UPC after all.

Now, following the ratification of the protocol on the UPC provisional application phase (“PAP”) by thirteen countries, PAP has come into effect and the final UPC preparations have started.

On this website, you can keep updated on and find information about the UPC.

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