The provisional application phase of the UPC Agreements has begun!

News | 21.01.2022

Another important step towards the Unified Patent Court Agreement (UPCA) – according to the EU Council’s Website Austria has deposited its instrument of ratification of the Protocol on the Provisional Application of the UPC (PPA) on January 18th, which means that the Period for Provisional Application of the UPC agreement began on January 19th. This means that the UPC now exists as a legal entity and can rent rooms, hire staff and buy equipment. Depending on the progress of these preparations, Germany will deposit its instrument of ratification of the UPCA so that the UPC can open its doors roughly three months later – possibly, and according to the estimation of the preparatory committee, within eight months from now.

And, the EPO is also busy in preparation for this new court system. In an advanced publication of the January 2022 Official Journal of the EPO, the EPO has announced the new possibility to file early requests for unitary effect of a European patent. In order to facilitate the introduction of the Unitary Patent system, the EPO will accept requests for unitary effect filed prior to the date of entry into force of the UPCA.

In the same publication the EPO has also announced the new possibility of requesting a delay in issuing the decision to grant a European patent in response to a communication under Rule 71(3) EPC so that the mention of the grant is published in the European Patent Bulletin on or immediately after the date of entry into force of the UPCA in order to allow the registration of unitary effect for that European patent.

If you are interested in learning more about this new court system in Europe, please visit us here. We provide answers to the most frequently asked questions and include further guides and recorded lectures for those who are interested in a more detailed explanation.