IP Cases & Articles

UK takes a further step towards UPC commencement

On Thursday 06 July, the UK confirmed its agreement to apply the Protocol on Provisional Application of the UPC.

This is a potentially significant step which could allow the UPC provisional application and sunrise periods to commence broadly in line with the hoped for timetable of the Preparatory Committee, without actual ratification of the UPC Agreement by the UK.

Preparatory Committee Timetable

  • Provisional Application Period to begin in autumn/late 2017.
  • Sunrise Period in early 2018.
  • UPC in operation later in 2018, probably in May or June.

We understand that the judicial recruitment process may affect the actual start date a little but at the moment details are not available. Of course, ratification of the UPC Agreement by both the UK and Germany is required before the UPC can commence business as a court.

We would continue to recommend that businesses and users proceed on the basis that the opt-out from the UPC will be available from January 2018 and the UPC will commence some time from April - June 2018 (when UPs will also be available). This is of course subject to any further alterations arising from either the German constitutional challenge which we reported on 14 June 2017, or the UK ratification process itself which is unlikely to be completed much before November or December 2017. Nevertheless, this particular step by the UK is a positive one for the commencement of the UPC system.