Are you UPC ready?
Preparing for change: The UPC opt out decision
The patent landscape in Europe is on the brink of the most significant change in a generation. This will affect all owners of European patents (EPs) who will need to make important decisions about their portfolios by the end of 2016.
Even if the UK votes to leave the EU, Unitary Patents (UPs) and the Unified Patent Court (UPC) are highly likely to come into effect and patentees will still need to make decisions about their granted EPs and applications. We expect that by Q1/Q2 2017 patentees will be able to opt for a UP, a single patent covering up to 26 participating member states of the EU. In addition we will see the opening of the UPC,a central court that will transform patent litigation in the EU. It is vital to prepare your existing patent portfolio for the new patent landscape and there may be as little as 6 months’ notice of the UPC going live.
This is the first of a series of briefing notes where the UPC group at HGF will consider the key decisions patentees and applicants will need to make in order to navigate the new regime and make the best choices for their patent portfolios. In this note we focus on the decision that all owners and applicants of EPs will have to make: whether to opt their patents out of the jurisdiction of the UPC.