According to the current schedule, the Unified Patent Court will start its work on June 1, 2023.
The so-called sunrise period, during which opt-out requests can be filed with the Unified Patent Court for granted European patents or published European patent applications will start on March 1, 2023, according to the current planning of the Unified Patent Court.
An opt-out request is only effective if it is entered in the register of the Unified Patent Court.
At present, it is not yet known how long it will take from filing the opt-out request to registration, as there are no empirical values yet. In a test phase for the file management and communication software of the Unified Patent Court, which will start on February 13, 2023, we will be able to test the process of filing the request, but this does not allow us to draw any firm conclusions on the subsequent processing time of opt-out requests at the Unified Patent Court.
We therefore recommend filing any opt-out requests as early as possible starting from March 1, 2023.
Now is the time to review again your patent portfolio of European patents and published European patent applications and to decide for which patents/patent applications an opt-out request should be filed early.
Do you have any further questions on this topic or on the Unified Patent Court and the Patent with Unitary Effect?
Please do not hesitate to contact us, we will be happy to advise you!
Dr. Dorothea Hofer
European and German Patent, Trademark and Design Attorney