It is important to be aware that upon inauguration of the new system, granted European patents will automatically fall under the jurisdiction of the Unified Patent Court (where available)- unless patent owners take action to “opt out” of the court’s jurisdiction.
How to opt out of the UPC’s jurisdiction
The “Sunrise period”
Starting on 1 March 2023, the initial date of the 3-month period (“Sunrise period”) before the Unified Patent Court begins operations, owners of granted European patents, of European patent applications and of related Supplementary Protection Certificates may file a request to opt out of the jurisdiction of the Unified Patent Court.
The “Transitional period”
During a 7-year period (Transitional period) after 1 June 2023, the date on which the Unified Patent Court is to begin operations, owners of European patents or European patent applications may file a request to opt out of the jurisdiction of the Unified Patent Court, provided no proceedings are pending before the court in relation to the relevant patent.
Opting back into the UPC’s jurisdiction
It is possible to opt European patents back into the jurisdiction of the Unified Patent Court, provided no proceedings are pending before national courts in relation to the relevant patent.
There is no fee for opting out of, or back into, the Unified Patent Court.
But whether to opt out of its jurisdiction is only one of the choices to be considered by holders of European patents: see our Unified Patent Court and Unitary Patent checklist of the main issues you should be considering if you own a granted or a pending European patent.
For queries or assistance on Unitary patent and Unified Patent Court matters, please contact us.