Reed Smith Client Alerts

Today (5 December 2022), the Unified Patent Court (UPC) announced that the entry into effect of the Unified Patent Court Agreement (UPCA) will be delayed a further two months, to 1 June 2023.

According to the UPC’s announcement, “the additional time is intended to allow future users to prepare themselves for the strong authentication which will be required to access the Case Management System (CMS) and to sign documents. Users will need to equip themselves with both a client authentication (hard device) and a qualified electronic signature.”

The UPC also announced that, as a consequence of the delayed entry into force of the UPCA, the so-called Sunrise Period will begin not on 1 January 2023 as announced previously, but on 1 March 2023.

As a reminder, the Sunrise Period is a transitional measure intended to facilitate early adoption of the unitary patent system and to allow parties to cautiously opt out of the UPC.

To that end, the European Patent Office (EPO) previously published notices, on 14 November 2022, announcing that as of 1 January 2023, parties would be able to make early requests for unitary effect and to make requests to delay the grant of European patents until the entry into force of the UPC Agreement.

You can read more about these requests in our earlier statement.