IP Cases & Articles

UPC Provisional Application Period (PAP) commences

Following news on the 18 January 2022 that Austria has deposited the instrument of ratification for the Protocol to the Agreement of a Unified Patent Court, the UPC Preparatory Committee has announced the commencement of the UPC Provisional Application Period (PAP). In a statement on its website, dated 19 January 2022, the UPC Preparatory Committee confirmed that “[t]his event marks the start of the Provisional Application Period (PAP) and the birth of the Unified Patent Court as an international organisation."

UP & UPC guides

We have an area on our website dedicated to the UP and the UPC which includes our detailed guides to the UP & UPC.

Read more

What is the UPC Provisional Application Period?

The UPC Provisional Application Period allows for completion of preparatory work establishing the UPC, including stress testing of the electronic case management system and the appointment of judges. The provisional application period is expected to last from six to ten months, most likely eight months.

When will the UPC system come into force?

With the provisional application period in effect, Germany can deposit its ratification of the UPC Agreement. Once German ratification is deposited, the new court will commence on the first day of the fourth month after the month in which that deposit occurs. Germany will not trigger this timetable until all preparatory work is complete.

Consequently, the UPC and UP system could come into force between mid 2022 and early 2023.

Sunrise period

Ratification by Germany will also determine the beginning of the “sunrise period” – a three-month window before the UPC becomes fully operational when patent owners are able to file “opt-outs” for existing European patents validated in one or more countries taking part in the UPC. The list of countries is available here: http://dycip.com/upc-countries.

Opting out in the sunrise period is important for patent owners wanting to avoid the jurisdiction of the UPC. If an opt-out is not validly registered in the sunrise period and an action started in the UPC when it becomes fully operational, it is not possible to then “opt out”.

Action/event Comments Expected date (approximate)
PAP preparations to include (1) Governing bodies of the UPC assemble adopt secondary legislation (2) UPC budget finalised (3) IT systems finalised (4) Recruitment of judges of the court finalised. Expected six-ten month period. Q1-Q2 2022.
Germany deposits last instrument of ratification of the UPC Agreement (UPCA). When work has progressed enough, Germany will deposit the last instrument of ratification of the UPCA. This is a four-month alert to the start of UPC and UP. Q2-Q3 2022.
Sunrise period begins. Three-month window before the UPC becomes fully operational. Opt-outs for EPs can be filed. Q2-Q3 2022.
Commencement of the UP & UPC system. Q3-Q4 2022.

We have produced detailed guides to both the UP and UPC that are available on a dedicated UP & UPC section of our website: www.dyoung.com/upandupc. If you have any queries regarding these, please do contact your usual D Young & Co representative or email us at mail@dyoung.com.

Clients will be contacted with specific guidance in the coming weeks and months and we will continue to publish regular and timely updates on our website UP & UPC pages.

UP & UPC Latest news and guides
UP & UPC Latest news and guides
Patent Book EPO Board of Appeal Decisions
Patent Book EPO Board of Appeal Decisions