Do I need to do anything now?
The European UP system is unlikely to be operational by summer 2018 and there is still a possibility it will not happen until after this date, or indeed at all.
However, European patent proprietors and applicants should still be aware of the system in advance. Applicants may want to consider how a UP would benefit them, or if they would prefer to avoid the UPC altogether and file national patents. Owners of existing EPs may want to consider opting out to avoid the jurisdiction of the UPC. Once the system is in place there will be a narrow time frame to decide which patents to opt out, so it may well be worth patentees carrying out strategic reviews of their portfolios well in advance, and considering for each new EP patent they file whether it should be opted out should the unitary patent come into existence.
The information above has been provided as a starting to point to consider the UP system. Please do not hesitate to contact your usual HGF representative or our Unitary Patent team via firstname.lastname@example.org should you require further more detailed information.