The German government has announced to have deposited the instrument of ratification of the Agreement on a Unified Patent Court (UPCA). This is the much-awaited last step needed for the Unified Patent Court (UPC) to become operational.
Following the ratification of Germany, the UPC will open its doors and will be ready to receive its first cases on 1 June 2023, in line with the expected timeline set by the UPC Administrative Committee. The new court will be common to 17 EU countries initially (with the option for more countries to join in the future), and will have exclusive jurisdiction to assess validity and infringement of current European Patents and future European Patents with unitary effect.
The last preparatory steps, including training of judges and final testing of the court electronic case management system, are still being carried out and will be completed during the so-called Sunrise Period starting on 1 March 2023. Beginning on this date, holders of European Patents will also be able to file requests to opt-out of the jurisdiction of the new court.
The upcoming months will also be crucial to reach a political consensus between participating member states on whether Milan will be the location of the third seat of the central division of the court.