This announcement on the Unified Patent Court (UPC) website yesterday states that the start of the sunrise period is postponed for 2 months, and the UPC Agreement will enter into force on 1 June 2023. Both these dates are 2 months later than the roadmap published on 6 October (reported here). It states that “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.” (During the sunrise period European patents may be opted out of the UPC’s jurisdiction before the UPC Agreement enters into force and the Court opens.) It also states “As strong authentication is required already for the Sunrise Period the initial timeline seems insufficient in view of the legitimate interests of users who have to find a provider and acquire the required authentication tools”, but the other preparatory work is in line with the published roadmap so no further delay to the UPC start date is expected.
Also published yesterday is more detail on the authentication, including in How to find a suitable provider for the CMS’s authentication an open-ended list of providers who have informed the UPC that they meet the required technical standards. The list of providers is expected to be added to. Information previously provided included technical details of the two certificates required to access the CMS, i.e. a Client Authentication Certificate (contained in a smart card or USB token) and an Electronic Signature Certificate, and how to obtain and test them: New authentication and electronic signature. How to authenticate to the CMS system?