The Preparatory team for the Unified Patent Court (UPC) has just issued an ‘implementation roadmap’ outlining the key activities and milestones of the UPC in the coming months ahead of the court’s opening.
The roadmap confirms that the aim is for the UPC to open on 1 April 2023. The period for filing opt-outs from the UPC would therefore start three months earlier on 1 January 2023. These dates reflect the current state of the UPC project and therefore may be subject to change.
Based on the published roadmap, the expectation is that Germany will deposit its ratification of the UPC at some point in December 2022. This would then complete the last legal step required for a confirmed date of opening of the UPC to be announced. In the meantime, the UPC is continuing to work on finalising the court’s Case Management System that will be used for the lodging of opt-outs and actions before the court.
Publication of the roadmap is a reminder that the start of the UPC and the Unitary Patent is now in all likelihood less than 6 months away. Proprietors of European Patents and other users of the patent system in Europe will be wanting to use the next few months to finalise their strategies for opt-outs, the use of the new UPC forum and the registering of future European Patents as Unitary Patents. For more information on these issues, please read this insight article.