Preparatory Committee issues guidance on UPC transitional arrangements


The ambiguities of the Art 83 transitional provisions have attracted much comment (see here for example).  Now the Preparatory Committee has gone some way to providing clarity by issuing a series of Q&As on its website. Whilst helpful, users would undoubtedly prefer a statement which more clearly has legal effect or authority. For example, at the very least, a more formal Preparatory Committee Interpretive note would be appropriate.  This is all the more necessary as the Commission’s Q&As dated 11 December 2012 (available here) contradict the Preparatory Committee position especially in Q&A 14, and even today the current version still suggests that the Art 83(3) opt out ceases to have effect at the end of the transitional period, rather than the opt out being for the life of the patent (see Answer to Q8 here).  The new Prep Comm Q&As are a welcome step forward, but more can and should be done to give users the certainty they deserve.

Richard Pinckney


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