Applications to opt-out pass the 100,000 mark
There is now less than three weeks to go until the UPC opens its doors on 1 June 2023. On the 9th of May the UPC has passed the 100,000 milestone of applications to opt-out. During the first week of May the numbers of applications being filed increased significantly and we are expecting a further sharp increase as we move towards the last day of the sunrise phase on 31 May 2023.
This sunrise phase has presented us with not entirely unexpected challenges. From 4 to 7 April, the UPC took their own Case Management System (CMS) as well as the API functionalities offline without prior notice for maintenance reasons. From 3 to 5 May, we experienced similar problems, this time without any information on the part of the UPC. Additionally, the system seems to have difficulties coping with the rising number of opt-out requests filed, resulting in delays on the part of the UPC’s systems to process these requests. Unfortunately, the UPC’s system problems persist.
If you have not already done so, we strongly advise clients to provide and verify their instructions to us via our dedicated UPC Opt-Out Client Portal. However, taking into account the above situation, it is our responsibility to advise you that in the light of recent problems with the UPC system, your opt-out requests may not be filed and registered by 31 May 2023. Given the time constraints, we advise focusing on instructing the opt-out for key granted European patents at first.
It is also important to remember that you can still validly file opt-out requests after 1 June 2023 as long as no litigation action is pending before the UPC for the European patent/application in question.
If you have any questions on the above, please do not hesitate to contact us via [email protected] or contact your usual HGF representative.