The launch: The Unitary Patent and the Unified Patent Court

Article  \  1 Mar 2023

Following Germany’s recent ratification of the Unified Patent Court Agreement (UPCA), the Unified Patent Court (UPC) is now set to open on 1 June 2023. The launch of the UPC will bring significant changes to the European patent system that will impact all European patent holders and applicants.

The UPC will have competence to decide on all infringement and invalidity actions relating to Unitary Patents (UPs) and existing European patents in the countries signed up to the UPCA (expected initially to be 17 EU countries1). The European Patent Office (EPO) will also start granting European patents with unitary effect (i.e. a Unitary Patent).

From 1 March 2023 it will be possible for European patent holders and applicants to opt-out their European patents from the UPC’s jurisdiction before the start of the UPC on 1 June 2023.

Read more about UPs, the UPC and opting out of the UPC here.


What you need to do next

The launch of the UPC will bring very important changes to the European patent system, which will impact all European patent holders and applicants. From here, you should:

  • Decide whether your European patents are to be opted out from the UPC system – as this will require specific action to be taken. If no action is taken, your European patent(s) will automatically fall under the jurisdiction of the UPC.
  • If you are based in New Zealand or Australia and not sure what choice is best for you, get in contact with us so we can discuss with you.

1 Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, the Netherlands, Portugal, Slovenia, Sweden.

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