Until last Friday, implementation of the European Unified Patent Court (UPC) Agreement and availability of a Unitary Patent for multiple EU states had been delayed by two Complaints for interim injunctions against German ratification of the UPC Agreement.
On Friday, 9 July 2021, the German Constitutional Court (Bundesverfassungsgericht) rejected the requests for interim injunctions. Because this order was based on findings that the constitutional complaints are inadmissible, it appears very unlikely that there will be a hearing on the merits of the case and it appears likely that the German government will soon ratify the UPC Agreement.
The UPC Preparatory Committee announced on July 9th that it will publish a timeline and a more detailed plan for the start and execution of the Provisional Application Period “in due course” on its website. Our best guess is that the UPC could be ready to open and the EPO will begin granting Unitary Patents in mid to late 2022.
- It will soon be time to develop strategies for deciding whether or not to obtain Unitary Patents, and whether or not to opt out of the UPC for existing and future, conventional European Patents. (The UPC will have sole jurisdiction over litigation involving Unitary Patents).
- Persons desiring a Unitary Patent may want to consider delaying the grant of some European Patents until the Unitary Patent is available.
See our Unitary Patent and Unified Patent Court pages here.