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UPC moves one step closer to 2022 launch

December 2021

The Austrian parliament has completed the legislative procedure to ratify the Protocol on the provisional application of the Agreement on a Unified Patent Court (the “Protocol”; see here). When deposited, this will trigger the provisional phase ahead of the launch of the UPC. This allows for the finalising of secondary legislation, budgets to be set and Judges to be appointed before the UPC opens its doors. It is estimated that the provisional phase will take 8-10 months, following which Germany will deposit its ratification of the UPC Agreement triggering the launch of the UPC four months’ later. The UPC could open its doors by the end of 2022 and patentees will be able to request validation of a unitary patent (UP). It also means that owners of European patents must consider whether or not to opt-out of the UPC system.

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