The EPO reported yesterday on a meeting with representatives from the Unified Patent Court (UPC) in which progress since early February towards the launch of the unitary patent and the UPC was discussed. Jérôme Debrulle, Chair of the EPO Select Committee of the Administrative Council for the Unitary Patent reported that “the Select Committee had completed its work programme and is now ready for the entry into operation of the Unitary Patent system.”
Regarding the UPC, Alexander Ramsay, Chair of the UPC Administrative Committee, reported that there had been solid progress in the first part of the provisional application period and “the organisation is now taking shape”. As reported here, the provisional application period (during which final preparations for the Court’s opening are being made) started on 19 January 2022. Although in April it was estimated (here) that the Court may be ready for opening late this year or early next, it is now understood to be more likely to be a few months later, i.e. next spring. In the preceding 3-4 months not only may European patents be opted-out from the Court’s jurisdiction but also applicants for a European patent may file an early request for unitary effect (i.e. a unitary patent) and also request that the issue of a decision to grant a European patent is delayed so a unitary patent is granted on the start date.