On 17th February, Germany ratified the Agreement on a Unified Patent Court (UPC), joining the 16 other Member States who had already deposited the instrument before the Secretariat of the Council of the European Union. This marks a significant step towards the opening of the UPC on 1st June 2023.
As part of the preparations for the UPC’s launch, a 3-month Sunrise period began on 1st March. During this period, holders of European patents can choose to “opt-out” their patents from the exclusive jurisdiction of the UPC and instead remain under the control of national courts. Opting-out during this period offers an added advantage of registering the opt-out at the start of the UPC, eliminating the risk of central revocation.
While the opt-out option will be available for at least 7 years after the UPC’s launch, opting-out during the Sunrise period offers added benefits, and patent holders are encouraged to consider their options carefully.