IP Cases & Articles

Unified Patent Court (UPC) start date delayed

The Preparatory Committee of the Unified Patent Court (UPC) announced today that its tentative timetable, published in January of this year and which envisaged a commencement date for the UPC of December 2017, "cannot be maintained".

This has been caused by the failure of sufficient UPC countries to agree to be bound by the Protocol on Provisional Application, which is necessary to allow the UPC to come into legal existence before the actual "go live" date.  The Provisional Application Period which this Protocol creates will enable, for example,  judicial recruitment to take place and pre-commencement opt-outs to be filed (the latter during the so-called Sunrise Period).

Delay is also in part related to the uncertainty as to timing of the UK ratification of the UPC Agreement as a result of the General Election being held on 08 June 2017.  The UK has already agreed to be bound by the Protocol on Provisional Application.

A new timetable will be published as soon as possible and we expect to have a better idea of the revised timing later this month or in early July.

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